by Lindsay Letitia Huettman
I am out in the foggy, wet Pacific Northwest winter with my 10-12 year-old homeschoolers’ program, heading to an amazing place we call Elk Meadows. As we cross the meadow, we stop for a word of thanksgiving about the day and send the kids to their Sit Spots. The instructors also head out into the landscape, finding a place to rest and watch the morning wake under the goliath presence of Mount Si. Life is revealed to all our senses in this temporary silence. As a mentor, it helps to model to my genuine excitement at the small birds in the willow thicket while enduring the cold, damp earth that I rest upon. This is a great time for instructors; a sacred time to breathe and connect to the elements, earth and its creatures. It is also the time I invite Coyote to come out and do his secret, stealthy duty as the ultimate mentor. During this peaceful space, Coyote brings me glimpses of the internal workings of my beloved students.
If any of the students were looking my way, they would see my attention on the meadow; my head turning to interpret bird calls. Perhaps they see my chest moving up and down, taking large gulps of the mist rolling off the Snoqualmie River, and observe my eyes scanning the horizon, searching for elk on the forest edges. What they wouldn’t see is a part of my awareness is also listening to Coyote. (more…)