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Lookout Rock, Grandmother Cottonwood, and a Lesson Learned

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We are now in the depths of fall. The trees are mostly bare, the calls of the geese have quieted, and the last yellow goldenrod flower has browned and dried.

We started the day with a story from Julie, about Coyote and the Stars, and then we set out in search of our first scavenger hunt clue! Our hunt helped us ID the oak tree and her acorns. With magic spells, we turned the nuts into spinning tops. We followed clues to the cattail marsh to collect tinder and to special places we've come to know on this land, like our trail to camp and "lookout rock." Getting to know and naming these special places helps us to build a relationship with this land and deepen our love for it. Maybe someday these little ones will be working to protect "lookout rock" and "Grandmother Cottonwood" and sharing stories with their little ones, passing on the torch lit by connection and fueled by protection.

The last clue led to our fire pit, where a bag of marshmallows and a note from "Mother Earth" herself awaited. Our instructions were to light a fire and roast one each. The wood was wet, and lighting a fire proved more difficult than usual. So, a lesson was learned. After patience and perseverance, and many successful flint and steel strikes, our fire was sung into flames.

—Theresa Wood