The fall season was here and is now gone – certainly seeming much more gone than here at this moment as I sit next to the fire, snow surrounding the Woods Yurt. Not long ago, hundreds of young children were here, getting to experience if only for a few days a place much different than almost all others (those they have seen with their own eyes as well as those not yet glimpsed). And no matter how many places folks young or old have seen or imagined, Spruce’s unique feel is a fact. To prove this, one need not look much farther than the smoke curling from a yurt chimney into falling snow, the wind all around.
This place really does seem to live something of a dual existence with both being critical in their own right. Then – the fall, the season, the kids – is when the stream study, the habitat comparison, and “It’s All Connected” reign supreme. It is a time to teach and a time to open eyes, all the while showing young people the places and things they may have never seen before and might never again. This is important work and we do it gladly with boots on our feet and chalk in our hands. And Now – the winter, the off season, a few staff tromping through the snow – is when calm, slow thoughts make their way through nearly empty (and generally quite cold) spaces. To my way of thinking this is an equally important, albeit vastly different, phase in the yearly flow of Spruce. The busy seasons here are what get the press, generate the excitement and fulfill many of TMIs stated goals, but it is now during these short days and long nights that a few wool clad yurt dwellers get to fill a much different but still important role as the winter world surrounds. Rejuvenation. Rebuilding. Creation of excitement and energy for whatever might lie ahead – all of this can happen now, as the snow comes down, as all things seem to slow.
Now and Then. Both are good places. Both are where we need to be at the given time. I figure I don’t have many complaints about either and that’s a good place to be.