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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Warmth: is it learned or instinctual?

In first grade at ECO, foundations for surviving winter are essential. Beyond learning how to layer our bodies in warm clothing and boots, we discover countless ways to stay warm in the woods. We use our internal fire to share a song and warm ourselves by the communal fire. We gather together and notice one another in the light of the fire's warmth.

We use the fire's alchemy to roast apple quarters, warm our salt dough sculptures and make popcorn.

While some of us sit by the fire to warm our bodies, others self-organize when invited to build a fort in the woods. These children relocate hefty tree trunks as material for the base of their fort. Among cries of excitement, we hear, "Okay, everyone drop it!" and "Go find another one!". Leaders emerge as loud voices are welcomed in this heavy duty labor of the vast forest. This instinct to move wood not only warms the body, it establishes a pattern for future woodchuck-ing, or preparing the woodpile for winter. Warmth: is it learned or is it instinctual?

There are many important ways to warm oneself during the seasonal dark of winter in Vermont!

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