Gratitude | St. Lawrence University Adirondack Semester


Julia Callahan and Maggie Bolger

This week we give thanks.  We learned the power of gratitude guided by our dear friend Len Mackey.  Together we created unifying, rhythmic force, drumming late into the evening.  We were so enamored with Len and his teachings we almost forgot our Friday night bedtime!  Len brought his drums, dijirido’s and his contagious positive spirit.  He taught us how to make fart noises in order to create the distinctive sound of a dijirido.  Len says, “A fart is the sound of relief.”  We are thankful that Len brought some groove to Arcadia.  The next morning, Len led us on a spiritual journey in the sweat lodge, a ritual that has been practiced in many cultures around the world.  We cleansed our bodies and spirits, sweating out in 2 hours what the liver and kidneys flush out in 24 hours.  We sang songs, offered thoughts, feelings, gratitude, and prayers. 

This week we were continually blessed with beautiful sunny, warm days, granting us many opportunities to sleep on the dock under the stars.  It was the first time in Arcadian history that all Arcadians fit on the dock for a night’s sleep.  On one of the colder rainier nights, we had a fitful sleep, as 8 of us snuggled on the loft in the kitchen.  As the days become shorter and our time here dwindles, we are jumping on any opportunity to be together.  We all shared gratitude for the moments spent here.

We were honored this week by the presence of our friend and woodworking mentor, Michael, his lovely father, Jim, and a former Arcadian, Cassidy.  We feel that the energy and special spirit of our home should be shared, so we are very generous with our invites.  We love having dinner guests!

We saw wolves!  And a bobcat, a gray fox, and a porcupine, oh my!  And a bunch of raptors!  We went to the wildlife refuge in Wilmington, NY, future internship partner to Karen.  Sue brought her family and we enjoyed nice a van ride to Fernando’s Salsa music.  This was followed the next day by Glenn’s fieldtrip to Coney Mountain, Little Tupper Lake, and Big Tupper ski area.  We saw a 360 view of the area while having class on a mountaintop.  We are grateful for the Adirondack classroom that teaches us so much about the interconnectedness of nature and human culture.

This week, more than others, we are more aware of the feeling of gratitude.  We hope to permeate this thankfulness all around in our last weeks here in the village.  Thank you for coming along on our journey.