I was lucky enough to spend winter solstice away from the computer, phone, anything with a screen. It was a much-welcomed time out from the pre-holiday frenzy that makes up this time of year.
I went to a solstice celebration at Hidden Villa, a unique piece of land that’s being used for education and preservation. Hidden Villa uses its organic farm, wilderness, and community to teach and provide opportunities to learn about the environment and social justice. With over 1600 acres of open space, educational gardens, a csa, and farm animals it was the perfect place to slow down and experience the solstice day and full moon eclipse.
I was able to take some solitary time and think about the past year and the year to come. Being so close to an educational farm really helped me to focus on what sustains me, and made me aware of how much I missed gardening with kids.
There were some magical fun places to the education garden.
There was a sweet vine house that reminded me of the one I saw a few years ago at the Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley.
They have a multi bin compost area, featuring the ever popular FBI: Fungus, Bacteria and Invertebrates.
I loved the sign for the manure pile:
and this one:
When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
I was also able to take a hike on the trails. It has been raining for quite a few days, and while I stayed dry, the sky changed often during my hike.
There were moss and lichen everywhere:
I thought of the perfect compost of the forest floor, and how unique it was to see nature doing its thing without too much disturbance. What rich diversity.
I am so grateful to be able to come to such a beautiful place.
Becoming aware of the relationship of all living things to other living things is the key to knowing ourselves. It is the basis for understanding the intricate web of life. By what means can such experience be brought about? The challenge of the teacher is to set the stage so that this kind of learning can take place.Josephine Duveneck
Educator, visionary and co-founder of Hidden Villa.