Welcome to our last week of Woods School for the summer!
Lat week, oh what can I say…the production of Poppy and the Wolf was such a celebration of the journey this season with the children - the music, the dancing, the costumes (as always), and the set - replete with a flying bird hoisted from a limb of a tree. Thank you all, so much, for your continued support of these productions. We are putting together ideas for the fall season to do a musical, investing a bit more time and commitment to memorizing lines and songs, and perhaps with some extra support from the community beyond the Woods School. If you have any ideas or people to connect with that could help support this production, let me know!
This week we said a temporary farewell to our sweet, gentle soul brother Linden, who is going off on some adventures in Ohio and New Hampshire. Linden is a shining beam of light, a dear friend to everyone, a brave being with deep compassion and true, honest love for every living thing. We are so honored to have spent this past year with him here, and are eager to hear about his journey on his family farm in Ohio - a school field trip is in the works already to go visit:) This week we even got to have his little brother, Rye, here for a full day and it was such a gift to have them both together before they head off this island. Gaby, Tyler, Millie, Rye and Linden - you have been such an important part of our web here, our constellation, our community. We will miss you so much. Penpals for now, until we see you again!
As we say goodbye we also welcome Elaina, a magnificent high school student (who I happened to teach in Kindergarten at the Oak Bluffs School oh so long ago), who guided the children in a myriad of ways this week with her calming presence and kindness. She invited us all to learn about mosaics, which we created with cut out pieces of watercolor paper and drawn out shapes of fish, flowers and shells. We talked about Eric Carle, looked at his method of creating his illustrations with mosaics, and then dove into it ourselves. Elaina also helped us immensely with our set for Poppy and the Wolf, and supported the children as they made their famous “nature together” cupcakes at the end of the week. It felt seamless and supportive and we feel so grateful to have another guide for this group of children. Thank goodness we have another week with her (and perhaps much more in the future).
We had a visit from Laura, who read a version of Peter and the Wolf, and who had introduced us to the beautiful musical tale all those months back. There was work at the stream, a whittling refresher, a ceramics shop with clay dug out from the end of the culvert, and a trip to our trees. We foraged with Rachael for red clover and jewelweed to dry, for nettle seeds to much on, for mullein and blackberries and oh the foraging season has really begun…
We spent our snack time listening to the music of Peter and the Wolf, and heard about Sergei Prokofiev’s life. Each child gleaned one biographical fact and shared it with the audience after the performance (eg. it took him just one week to write the entirety of Peter and the Wolf). And the performance itself was magical, as always. A combination of the children’s understanding of their particular role/musical theme within the orchestral piece, and their extrapolation from that role and the character they have developed over the past few weeks. This story, and the music, will surely live within each of them for years to come, and perhaps forever.
This week, we will be wrapping up our work here at the yurt on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and then on Thursday we will meet here but will be taking a field trip to the Agricultural Fair after snack. We will be meeting Roberta Kirn in the music tent a little before 11 am, to sing with her (she is expecting our group and has prepared some special songs for us), we’ll have a picnic lunch, visit with the animals (no rides or games), and then head off to visit Ariana’s school at 2 pm to have an end-of-school celebration there. So: drop off at the yurt on Thursday, but pick up at Skiffs Lane at 3 (feel free to come early for the celebration!)
Thanks everyone, what a summer!
The Allen Farm program is for children ages six and older. Follow along our learning and exploration in the woods, on the farm, in our yurt, and across our island community, at the upper Woods School.