It's the end of August, and the weather up here is warm during the day, with cool nights, and few mosquitoes. There's a lot going on right now.
The blackberries and bunchberries are ripe. I've never had bunchberries before until now. They are small red berries that grow in a cluster, on the floor on the woods. They taste mildly sweet, and have a creamy texture. They're fun to just grab when I'm going for a walk.
I am holding a small handful of blackberries. I'm standing still, and the mosquitoes aren't biting! I'm enjoying the weather. There's so much to look at, and I've been taking a lot of photos, as you can probably tell from this blog post.
The wildflowers are blooming, too. When I moved in, I was welcomed into my room with a bouquet of wildflowers.
Some are starting to wilt, now.
I've been working on deer and bear hides, and cooking a lot. I really like the meals here. We stick to a paleo diet. A basic meal at Teaching Drum consists of deer or fish, vegetables/greens, and wild rice. For breakfast we have fruit and nuts. We eat eggs for some meals, that we buy from the neighbor down the road. We cook in bear fat. Yesterday we rendered bear fat, and what's leftover is crispy chunks of fried fat that pretty much everyone loves eating.
I'm at Nadmadewing, in this photo, salting one of the hundreds of deer hides that get donated to the school from hunters, roadkill, or taxidermists. Some are sent out to the students of the wilderness immersion programs for hide tanning.
Ricing Moon begins soon. This is when we gather wild rice, in canoes, out on the river. I started carving my ricing sticks yesterday, and I am almost done. I've never riced before, so I am excited to learn how to do it, and then I can give more detail about the process.
Almost everyone who lives here is really into running in the woods. A few weeks ago, I was training for a 10k. I was running on pavement or gravel. I could not have imagined how fun it is to run in the woods. Before, running was a practice for blowing off some steam, putting on my headphones, getting that endorphin high, escaping from daily stress. With woods running, it's about awareness, and fun. We practice "wolf running." One person leads, and the other people follow behind, mimicking the leader's steps. I went with someone today, and I felt like a kid on an adventure. We were balancing on logs, jumping and ducking branches, and sometimes crawling on the forest floor under tree branches and between ferns.
One aspect that I really appreciate about Teaching Drum is the healing circle. Anyone can call a healing circle to get support from the rest of the community. A circle was recently called because one person asked another person to stop flagging them. "Flagging" is a term used when someone points out that another person is victimizing themself, externalizing, or enabling someone else. We talked about why someone wouldn't want to be flagged. The intention behind a flag, etc. Interesting stuff.
I learned that I have lots of victimization patterns. I've been aware of it for years, but I never called it that. I struggle to empower myself, and let go of thoughts that I'm not good, or don't have anything to contribute.
There's a lot to learn here!
One more picture, and then I'll go.