Lindsay and Cassie
Emilie wakes up to witness a rosy pink dawn over Mt. Arab. She came ashore on Eagle Island over night. Her first priority is to address an urgent call of nature on land, but soon took advantage of having the island to herself at 6 am. She "steals time" before breakfast running quite free, while attempting to identify the local flora in light of Brad's Natural History class. She recalls being apprehensive about her journey and how she would react to being alone for the first time in three weeks; however, come morning, she was "exhilarated." After our in -depth orientation to Arcadian life, we are now transitioning into finding the rhythm and pace that gives this place its feel. It is our home. Through our classes and use of personal down time, we are discovering new ideas about perspective, what wild plants smell best in sauna water, how to make gluten free delicacies, and the varying melodic styles of Arcadian musicians. In the wise words of Dave Bell. "upon looking closer what it really boils down to, is people and shared adventures." Chris reflects on Friday night capoeira play- a type of fighting dance historically practiced by slaves in Brazil. She said, "everyone felt sort of graceful." We danced into the darkness, to the rhythm of our own chanting, clapping, singing and traditional instruments. Sometimes, the rhythm was improvised by those challenged by keeping time. Missy noted the awareness capoeira brought to her movement and body as we learned ways to watch for and react to the other player's advances. Many of us enjoyed free style capoeira best. During Brad's class on Wednesday afternoon, donning flippers and snorkels, we became more intimately acquainted with life beneath Massawepie's surface. Luke recalls swimming within a foot of a brown trout. Propelled by his flipper-fortified legs, he was able to keep his arms calm and observe the trout without spooking it. When asked about her most vivid memory from the week, Krysia quickly exclaimed "cutting off a chicken's head." The act made her feel "very human and primitive." Our time with Dan Kent and the Bennets, two North Country farmers (who supply us with vegetables and meat through a CSA share), on Saturday encouraged us all to think about food, and our connection to it, as well as moral and environmental impacts our consumption creates. Amidst serious reflections of self and place, we also manage to chuckle often. Courtney recalls the attempted murder of Uncle Dukie after he was found boiling in the blaster. She says, "All I remember was hearing screaming from the pot..." More on Uncle Dukie in future installments... Tom marvels at the astounding amount of bedding his yurt mate, Lindsay, nests in. He is amazed and reminds Lindsay of The Princes and the Pea before bed. Courtney has a nest of equal proportion. Levi remembers stepping into the fiery depths of the sauna when the thermometer needle was past the maximum temperature - over 240̊ F. Many Arcadians enjoy near-nightly sauna and lake dipping combinations, perspiring in harmony. Through experiential learning, Cassie made a connection to Cathy's Knowing Nature class, revisiting the lesson assumptions, she learned that trails might not connect to an anticipate location, and that it is very possible to become hopelessly disoriented in a deciduous forest and swamp, while bushwhacking. Lindsay learned about the interconnectedness of people and the Natural World, and the corresponding balance that is necessary to adopt. While playing capoeira, we explored the intricate balance of our bodies and motion. Motion should be constant and flowing, to "rock with the waves" of life, instead of tipping with an unexpected blow. Matthew reminds us to "never lose our childhood curiosity," and to "stop for a moment, and surrender to our inner 5 year old!" During his runs and long-distance swims around Massawepie, he realizes that freshwater sponges and the hermit thrush can only be observed if we take the time to spot for a moment, abandoning a set pace in order to see.