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Alex Douglas-Kane shares her experiences and understanding of Discover Nature Awareness

Monday, 9 July 2012

The Dark and the Light held them.


The torch is but a distraction from being in the moment. It allows us to move into our heads, unable to see beyond the light in our eyes, causing us to stay in the tunnel that is the beam, this place of false security, which prevents us from venturing outside of the artificial light and into another world long forgotten.

The Dark and the Light command us to pay attention to our sense of place through our awareness of all things, from the rustle of the spider moving through the undergrowth to the blinking of an owl’s eye hidden in the foliage of the tree nearby. We need these things in order to help us understand our sense of community with Mother Earth.

"Do we need torches"? She asked one night as we were about to take the children up into the woods to build a fire under the cover of darkness. I answered "no, if we give them torches they will be off into the woods and we will have trouble keeping them together, the best way is to allow nature do the work for us, with their help".

So, off we set into the darkness, they followed each other in single file, some holding onto the person in front because they did not want to be separated from each other in the dark and in the woods. Once we reached the place we were going too, they set about building a fire in the darkness from the wood that had been collected earlier that day, there was about eight of them and the fire was built in no time. They had practised many times before in day light.

Out came the fire steel, it was struck several times, the char cloth caught the ember and held it ready to be transferred to the tinder bundle, blowing it into a reassuring flame it was transferred to the pile of wood that looked like a tepee, this was to be their fire. Up she roared, giant flames leaping two to three times the height of their heads, embers looking like firefly’s drifting off into the night air of the surrounding wood. Then out they came, the marshmallows, and as we sat warming them over the embers, the story telling began.

The fire had done its job; holding the children together while it listened to their tales and their laughter, keeping them safe and warm. Just as the darkness had done its job in keeping them together until they reach the safety of the camp fire.

Who needs torches when you have the Dark and the Light?

2 comments:

mick hammond said...

I have trailed behind Geoff who successfully and confidently led the way through the woods illuminated only by total darkness during a tracking course.At the time i was always constantly bombarded with the thought of twisting an ankle in a pot hole or tripping over or walking into a branch.I was less than 3ft from Geoff at all times but could barely make out his sillouette and had trouble keeping pace with him as he glided in and out of the dense trees.
Yet again this was Geoff demonstrating his use of energy and sensory skills that are both highly tuned.
I came away from the course inspired by Geoffs methods and set about practising and tuning my senses to Geoffs natural confidence levels.
Torches are now for emergancy use only and there is something exceptionaly stunning about making your way through the woods at night which its self take on a whole new meaning and picture,putting me with in a predatory sensary mode.
Keep up the Inspiring work Geoff.Many thanks.
Mike H...

Pathfinder-UK said...

Hi Mike

How are things? Thanks for the feedback, where are you now? You came up as being in the USA. Aye Geoffrey