The abundance of Arnot Forest in autumnal transition has been incredible for the commencement of Wilderness Year. From harvesting autumn olives into freshly sewn white pine baskets, to redding maples on the ridges, to shaping clay while our inner children laugh with glee, our wanders have taken us some incredible places. We’ve had a nomadic pottery wizard named Keith and several incredible Primitive Pursuits staff join us to weave their wisdom into the fabric of our community.

How we engage as caretakers of the landscape? What does it look like for our legacy in 10, 30 or 50 years to support a thriving ecological community? Who do we share nature with, and what lessons are these non-human mentors sharing with us? What do we as individuals need and offer for the group? These big questions have guided us during the first four weeks of Wilderness Year, always beginning with gratitude. 

This past week we spent connecting deeply with trees and plants intuitively, academically and functionally. Arnot Forest is incredibly diverse in it’s ecosystems, so taking time to explore while looking for bow staves, to soak up the sun with yarrow, and to mindfully harvest our sweet birch medicine has balanced knowledge we’ve gained from field guides and journaling. Thursday we started shaping our bows, and the soothing sounds of chop-choping and thwacking arrows were held under the Fall canopy and gentle rain.

As the days shorten and our community fabric knits itself, we know that getting to participate in a program like Wilderness Year is already changing the way we see the world.

We’re grateful 🙂