Monday, March 21, 2011

Stalked by a Deer

Okay. As long as I have been walking about in nature, sitting in secret spots, spying on animals, sneaking up on them, never, to my knowledge, have I been stalked by a white tail deer. Once I came across a young family and the male deer challenged me to fight. I just stamped my feet the way he did and the family fled. This time, I just stood still and waited. I pretended to be a tree.

But the deer knew I was not a tree. That I was a threat. At first, he stomped, then he shook his tail, then he reared and bucked and snorted. I did nothing. I had gone over to the containment ponds where I sit with the geese who are nesting. They come every year. This year I hope to protect their nest from fox. I stood watching the two geese couples, one in each pond. Then I noticed this young buck. Near him were three other smaller deer. I stood and went into an energetic stance we called "primary respiration" in the field of craniosacral therapy. It is a connection to power of the natural world of which we are a part. I just stood. The deer stomped and stomped and got closer and stomped some more. It was all I could do to not laugh out loud. Eventually, all the deer ran away (but we found them later, sitting and resting though).

I loved this experience. As I was standing in primary respiration, feeling the bravery of this young deer, I heard tree frogs calling, birds singing, woodpeckers doing their mating call, and the geese? They woke up and went into the smaller pond for a dip. All this just yards from my house! Pretty fantastic.

Kick Ball on the Village Green

We chanced an evening walk before the sun went down. All four of us headed up the streets of Belvedere, counting the new houses, listening to the peepers. My daughter scooted around on her scooter. My son collected sticks and pretended to spear any possible enemies. Then it happened. We came across some Dunlorans playing kickball on the Village Green! Our pour Village Green, lumpy and rough, and there they were! Can we play?!?! We asked. Sure was the answer. Ahhhh. Childhood. This was perfect. Come back, we pleaded, come back and play! Belvedere is committed to "geting kids off the couch" and reliving the childhoods we had. Thank you Dunlorans. Come on up any time!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Belvedere and Nature Connection

Okay, I am gearing up now. I think I had given up for a while, trying to live into, lean into, love into Belvedere's potential. Belvedere has the potential for being a shining beacon here in the US for sustainable community development. What attracted me to it was the message that it will be designed to "get kids of the couch" and out into the natural world, and that it is designed with the more-than-human world in mind.

In my talks with developer Bob Hauser, he has asked, what exactly is my responsibility as a developer to fulfill this potential?, and he has a good point. As a builder, how can he "get kids of the couch?" At best, it is building the trails, cleaning up the land, making the play space. We invited landscape designer Robin Moore in to have a look, make some suggestions. It was awesome . . . only I could not get Bob to follow up. Call the landscape architect Robin suggested, I said. No response. I believe shining star Chris Counts has moved on. Frank Stoner of Stonehaus has moved on, too. Sniff. Anyway . . . .

I do intend to help Bob Hauser, if he will let me. There are other residents of of Belvedere who want to live the idea of it, of people and nature connection. Perhaps I should create a checklist for us to look at. My first intervention has been around the idea of Festivals. We had our first Fall Festival on the village green in October. Now we are planning a Spring Fling, or spring festival. I would like to create a way to welcome folks, all these new families, wow! Peter Primiani of the HOA (home owner's association) has told me we a now 50 families! And those houses keep going up.

I believe we are also building bird houses this spring. Right Bob? Maybe we can do that at the Spring Festival. And we are working with Bob on the landscaping.

I would like to create a nature study group in Belvedere using a journaling and sit in nature method called Kamana. Also, I would like to create an afterschool club that is all about play in nature. Please do this with me Belvedere! Let's fill in the blanks around what is possible for people in this modern age!