This is an illustration from the Winter Issue of Woolgathering. I wrote about the harmful effects of the invasive honeysuckle to cardinals.
This year, we are trying to make a more concerted effort to reduce the honeysuckle population in our woods in order to save the trees and the birds. We are also looking to plant some trees in the voids of fallen oaks and cleared weed trees. It is an overwhelming task to eliminate the honeysuckle and buckthorn, but we feel like we have to try our best. We have heard from a friend who advises using a small amount of poison to prevent regeneration. We have also thought about goats who will surely reduce the unwanted plants but will likely eat the wanted ones. Any suggestions on the best approach to invasive species like honeysuckle and buckthorn?
Last year, I started working on an activity book intended to offer lots of fun, creative projects for families to make and do throughout the year. Anyhow, as the year progressed, my plans changed.
One of the projects I had hoped to be included in this book, was this one about telling stories. Storytelling is not only entertaining, it is powerful because in telling our own stories we begin to process our world as we know it and then, begin to imagine what could be.
Children are born storytellers and usually don’t need much to launch into a 3 act play. My daughter Penelope would make stories with anything - salt and pepper shakers, erasers, or paperclips. Now she draws her characters and writes her epic stories, which flow from her like water.
If you are beginning to feel a touch of cabin fever, which is quite contagious this time of year, think about inventing some stories. What is absurd? What makes you cry? What makes you laugh? Share your story of what is and share your story of what you’d like to be.
Below are some methods for creating characters and environments using oven baked clay and cardboard. Of course, a simple sock puppet or tiny figurine would work just as well.
Matchbox Bed Buddy
Today is the first full moon of the year and of the decade. It’s the Wolf Moon! Ahhoooooooo!
According to Jamie Sams’ Medicine Cards, Wolf is the “Teacher Archetype.”
Sams writes, “Wolf is the pathfinder, the forerunner of new ideas who returns to the cland to teach and share medicine. Wolf takes one mate for life and is loyal like Dog. If you were to keep company with Wolves, you would find an enormous sense of family within the pack, as well as a strong individualistic urge. These qualities make Wolf very much like the human race. As humans we also have an ability to be a part of society and yet still embody our individual dreams and ideas.”
What new ideas do you bring to your pack or your community this month?
These past couple of years I have enjoyed picking a “Word” for that year. This word can be an invitation of how you would like your year to go, and in my experience, my yearly word has made a difference in shaping my choices and experiences. It’s a touchstone to keep in your metaphorical pocket to pull you back to what you feel is important as the weeks and months fly by - which they will.
This year, I decided to make a literal stone to keep on my desk as a reminder of my 2020 word, which actually is two words this year.
Happy New Year!
Do you choose a “word” or phrase for the year?
Anna Lentz, artist, writer, and creativity coach who blogs about making a creative life connected with nature at Spring Bird.