A Significant Year

29th Jan 2010

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This year started for Native Awareness as it did for many of us under a blanket of snow! The prolonged weather has been a gift for the study of tracking and I often think about the skills of survival when faced with extreme conditions.

It was whilst walking our dog, when conditions were at their worst, that I stopped and looked at my surroundings. At first the biting wind and drifts of snow made it hard for me to distinguish objects other than their shapes and textures. I thought to myself, what would I do if I got stranded? How would I survive these conditions? At first I looked across this bleak landscape seeing little salvation, but it only takes a slight change in attitude for one to realise that the earth will provide. I scanned the landscape again; I looked at the snow and saw shelter, insulation and water. I also looked deep into the hedges and found the old stalks of burdock and willow herb which meant, fire, tinder and cordage. The ground also revealed the tracks of deer, rabbit, fox and mice or as I!

The news at the time was filled with stories of people panic buying and how travel routes had come to a standstill. Troubling times indeed but it is good to know that we still have the ability to take care of our basic needs of shelter, water, fire and food.

Each January I like to reflect on the year before and consider the one ahead and as each year goes by I get more and more excited about the future of Native Awareness. I think this year will go down in the school's history as one being of the most significant in it's development.

In May we are to launch Earth Living, our twelve month programme. The team at Native Awareness are thrilled about offering this curriculum of learning and having the opportunity for continuous contact with a group of dedicated students. We are also looking forward to expanding on some of the subjects found in the mainstream courses as well as going into great depth with new and inspiring skills. If you are interested in the Earth Living programme we recommend you book as soon as you can as we are limiting the number of students attending.

Native Awareness is also offering a varied choice of mainstream courses and I'm particularly excited about Expanded Awareness. When I first began building the school, this course was one which I looked forward with great anticipation to teaching. I can't wait to further stretch the boundaries of our perceived senses. The Camouflage and Native Scout courses are also going to be ones to remember!  For those who have taken classes before with us, I'm sure you can imagine the fun and excitement that we will have during these sessions!

Last but certainly not least, I would like to formally welcome Hana Jones to the Native Awareness team. Some of you may have met her during the 2009 Native Skills 1 and 2 back to back. For those who know her, I'm sure that you will agree with me, in that she is going to make a wonderful and extremely knowledgeable addition to the team.

I very much look forward to spending some time around the camp fire with you.



What to look for in the woods this month: