Art as Meditation: Holy Wanderings (formerly Nature Walk) #61084
Instructor: Ina Warren
Faculty Bio: Ina Waldrop Warren is a jubilant naturalist, lecturer, educator, and labyrinth facilitator and lives everyday in complete awe of the natural world. Her passion for volunteerism led her to serve over twenty years on the NC Bartram Trail Society Board, to serve on the Michoacán Reforestation Fund Board of Directors and to found the Blue Ridge Monarchs and Milkweed Association. Since creating a group called Monarch Mentors, area and regional schools have started raising monarch butterflies in the classrooms and planting butterfly gardens at their schools. Warren is author of a three-volume set of nature meditations based on Years A, B, and C of the Revised Common Lectionary entitled Care and Feeding of the Natural Rituals of our Lives as well as various identification booklets and student study guides on the monarch butterfly life cycle and migration.
Course Description: In Original Blessing, Matthew Fox writes "The late
E. F. Schumacher believed that there are two places to find wisdom: in nature and in religious traditions. To seek wisdom in nature we should obviously go to those who have loved nature enough to study it." In this course, we'll study nature on several levels - the sensory, literary and the spiritual. It will involve outdoor walkabouts, conversations and discussions on natural history literature and ways to deepen our experiences in nature. The fascinating life cycle of both the East and West coast populations of the Monarch Butterfly and its numerous connections of mystery, myth and transformation metaphor of the butterfly in relation to the human experience will be the primary topic of nature study for the week. Also to be covered will be the threats to the monarch's survival in both summer breeding grounds and overwintering sites in southern California and central Mexico.
The week's focus will be to:
1. Experience walkabouts on nearby trails and learn about the marvelous biodiversity of species in the eastern forests.
2. Experience first hand the 'care and feeding' of monarch butterfly caterpillars, as each student will receive a supply of fresh milkweed leaves and a larval box with several caterpillars to tend for the week. At the end of the course, students may either take them home to observe the remainder of their life cycle or they may release them into a nearby local native milkweed patch.
3. Examine Jane Goodall's Ten Trusts: Rejoice that we are part of the Animal Kingdom; Respect all life; Open our minds, in humility, to animals and learn from them; Teach our children to respect and love nature; Be wise stewards of life on earth; Value and help preserve the sounds of nature; Refrain from harming life in order to learn about it; Have the courage of our convictions; Praise and help those who work for animals and the natural world; Act knowing we are not alone and live with hope.
Optional Pre-Class Writing Assignment: Backyard Biology
Bring to class a brief report listing these natural history aspects of the area where you now reside: ten species each: trees, wildflowers, songbirds of summer and of winter, any local butterflies or moths, the names of several nearby rivers and watersheds, average annual rainfall, names of any nearby mountain ranges, any known exotic plant species and the latitude and longitude of hometown. Feel free to contact Ina for ideas on locating this site specific info by email at [email protected] .
Suggested text: The Spirit of Butterflies - Myth, Magic and Art by Maraleen Manos Jones
Please bring comfortable outdoor wear, including walking shoes and rain gear and water bottle. Some may wish to bring a water bottle, sunscreen or a sun hat. Late August can be muggy in the mountains thus many appreciate a natural bug repellant as well. Students may also wish to bring a blank book for pressing leaves to incorporate into journal pages.
"Nature is the living, visible garment of God." - Goethe
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