Forest Update 08/18/2011

Posted August 18th, 2011

As the dog days of summer wear on, we at the Hostel have been perfecting the art of sitting very very still. This week, guests have led us in two meditation sessions, helping everyone to relax and cope with the heat. The screen porch is still a favorite hangout, attracting crafters, readers, and contemplaters of navels. In their quest to continuously find new and innovative ways to reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose, and move as little as humanly possible, Aleisha and Carlyn have taken paper recycling to a whole new level. Aleisha has been creating treasure boxes from hardcover books discarded from libraries, and coiling some of the paper into beads for jewelry. Carlyn has made paper from drier lint and combined that with old cereal boxes and pages carved out of Aleisha’s books to make new postcards for the Hostel.

Of course, there are some advantages to the heat. Hostel staff made their first field trip of the year to the beach (for some of us, the first in several years). The beach at St. Simon’s island, just around the corner from the hostel, was exactly the prescription needed to recharge and refresh everyone. The beach was lovely and the water the perfect temperature for hours of gentle lazing. The afternoon was topped off with ice cream and pizza (ice cream first, of course); a quintessential summer experience.

We’ve all vowed to visit the beach as often as possible before the inevitable progression of summer into fall. In the meantime, we are working on planning the fall garden and designing new raised beds to replace the ones that have rotted away. We are also now measuring the completion of the new dome in terms of weeks instead of months, and looking forward to spending cool fall evenings watching documentaries there.

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff

Forest Update 08/11/2011

Posted August 11th, 2011

The slowness of the August heat has brought about a creative mood among the staff and guests here at the Hostel. We bibliophiles set up shop for the weekend with the Celebrating Words Workshop and made some paper with A-Lou. As it turns out, the process of creating a single sheet takes a great degree of skill and time. All the more satisfying to pull the perfect piece of almost-paper and press a flower on top before drying. We all have a newfound appreciation for each leaf, and particularly for the unique art of paper-making. Our creative writing workshop was likewise sublime and lulled us into the musical poetry of reading aloud. Walking by the new dome, the cedar musk of our soon-to-be bookshelves wafts in the air. Freddy is busy measuring, drawing, and making preparations for the final stages of the library.

The Children’s Retreat got us all feeling like kids again. The little ones were fascinated by the chickens, the lake, the magic of being under the trees. The weekend was filled with lots of art projects emphasizing the use of found, recycled, or natural materials. Jay even made his famous vegan mac & cheese, which was a big hit (mainly with me).

This week, we’ve been sharing skills and taking names. Donald taught us the fundamentals of Craniosacral therapy and gave us an opportunity to engage in practice of Chi Gong. To say we’re learning plenty is a bit of an understatement. The forest has been host to many engaging and expanding discussions of physiology, medicine, and the body-mind connection as of late. South Georgia heat in August may not be ideal for bonfires and the sweat lodge, but it has allowed for a spark of creativity and mental exercise. The screen porch has been the ideal place for hours of daytime crafting as it lets in the occasional breeze and provides armor against mosquitoes. The chess board rarely sees an hour without use and someone always seems to be reading in one of the rocking chairs. Every day we awake as students of the forest.

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff