Growing Tree-Lovers: Visitor Joins Us to “Talk About Trees”

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.“- author unknown

We hosted our first in-person small group activity of the year! Joan from Talk About Trees (Oregon Forestry’s Education Program), meets with four different groups in the grassy area adjacent to our play yard. Thanks to the stewardship of the good people at Common Grounds, the area is full of majestic trees. 

Upon arrival, children joyfully greet each other. Some run down the steep grassy slope, taking big, deliberate steps to make their way back up. Some collect needles, twigs and cones to build a “nest.” Others run circles around the giant needled tree that we are soon to gather under. Unsolicited, one’s child joy is contagious as she invites us to “hug a tree!” 

After a short stint of free play, we gather to see what is in Joan’s tree-patched pouch. Joan pulls out treasurer after treasure- laminated maple leaves of various sizes, seed pods and cones… and on.  

          

     

   

Joan encourages us to notice the trees close by. Some have leaves while others have needles. We use our bodies to mirror what we see happening with the surrounding trees surrounding. We spread out our fingers to mimic trees with leaves, and we use our pointer fingers to mimic trees with needles.

Now it is time to survey the area and get to know trees up close. As we walk the grounds, Joan invites us on a scavenger hunt– similar to what we’ve been doing in our virtual classes. This time, instead of finding objects from our homes to share, we get to find specific tree treasures: A fallen red leaf, a helicopter seed pod to fly, a giant ponderosa cone. 

   

One child sprints away from the group to a tree that had been topped. His mom relaxedly values his interest and lets him check it out.

 

We learn that Cedar trees are super soft and splinter-free. So we pet one!  We venture to an enormous Ponderosa Pine towering above us. 

Then Joan gathers us beneath a huge Doug fir tree. She tells us a story that will help us identify Douglas fir cones. Douglas the mouse helps his mice friends escape the clutch of a hungry coyote. Each time the coyote is close, Douglas coaches his little rodent friends to run away. After running and running, they hide inside a cone–a final hiding spot. The coyote cannot find them and heads home to have some macaroni and cheese instead. The mice are safe!

Joan encourages us to look closely at the cones beneath the Doug Fir tree. We can see the pointy mouse claws or mouse tails poking out. This lets us know the the tell-tale sign of a Douglas Fir cone versus other cones with rounded sides. 

What a joy it is to be together again! And even more so outside among the splendor of these gentle giants!

Thanks to Joan and Talk About Trees Program.

Let’s Rise, Lead & Protect the Young

The most important and revolutionary work in this world is building, repairing and caring for our relationships – caring for the young, old, healthy & sick. The kind of work that has been primarily women’s work, and because of capitalism and male domination, it’s been undervalued, undermined and made invisible. It’s becoming more and more clear that caring for the planet and healing racial and class injustice in our communities depends on the hundreds of small things we do as parents, friends, coworkers and neighbors.” – Kathryn Gardner,  RSMT,  re-evaluation counselor.

Here’s a timely poem by the esteemed novelist, short story writer, poet, and social activist, Alice Walker.

Calling All Grandmothers

We have to live
differently

or we
will die
in the same

old ways.

Therefore
I call on all Grand Mothers
everywhere
on the planet
to rise
and take your place
in the leadership
of the world

Come out
of the kitchen
out of the
fields
out of the
beauty parlors
out of the
television

Step forward
& assume
the role
for which
you were
created:
To lead humanity
to health, happiness
& sanity.

I call on
all the
Grand Mothers
of Earth
& every person
who possesses
the Grand Mother
spirit
of respect for
life
&
protection of
the young
to rise
& lead.
The life of
our species
depends
on it.

& I call on all men
of Earth
to gracefully
and
gratefully

stand aside
& let them
(let us)
do so.

Let’s Make this Fable the True Story of Our Time!

What can each of us do to make this the reality? Let’s value people and our planet over profits. Let’s nourish our full humanity. Let’s work to end greed and oppression. Let’s interrupt ideas of better than and less than. Let’s teach for lasting change. Let’s consume less. Let’s…

HFP Families Enjoy Spring Blossoms

While we are missing playing together at HFP, we can still share the common experience of enjoying PDX blossoms!

Cherry blossoms look similar to snow whether they’re gently falling from the trees or blanketing the ground with a coat of petals. Check out this precious story about Fox who mistakes the cherry blossoms for snow and warns his friends that it’s still winter.

 

  • Thanks to Sara (Dot/Media Handler) for creating the slideshow. We’ll add more photos as we receive them.Just email sara@caffewerks.com.

Earth Celebration Song: “There Is Hope For the Mama”

Lyrics:

For the first time since we began this ecological drama, there is hope for the mama.

While our health and wealth are going down, we can wake up if we wanna.

Fear and greed are in the air, but pollution hardly nada. 

'Cause we've stayed in one place leaving a smaller trace.

'Cause we've gotten out of the way, creatures are coming out to play.

'Cause we've slowed relentless industry, we can't do more than what we need.

It is being revealed that we need to rest to heal.

There is hope for the mama.