Getting over my fear of the dark (at least a bit)
I spent a week with Sticks and Stones Wilderness School for a course called Empowering Ancient Ways. The story and a video of me making fire - or blowing on a tinder bundle wrapped around a coal I made with my bow drill kit - are here. I left the video camera at home this time, but a classmate Rhonda Ursulak was there with an iPad to capture the experience. It is a bit dark, the camera picked up the light coming in a giant barn door behind me, but you get the idea. If you make it to the end you can see my face lit up with flame and an extremely satisfied grin. It was the second time I have managed to light a fire using a bow drill kit, so I was pretty excited.
I should add that another classmate took the photo of me blowing into the tinder bundle, but for some reason the photo credit has not popped up online. So thanks Sean McGarrity for that one.
In the story I admit I am not comfortable in the dark (or I should say someone who still sprints up the stairs at her parents' house at night because of a really active imagination). But I have to say after spending a great deal of the week outdoors I could conceivably walk at night in a strange patch of woods without collapsing into a whimpering ball and spending the night lashing out at strange noises with a sharp stick.
The course was jam-packed with lessons on making fire, tracking, medicinal plants and herbs and flintknapping to name a few. I have a notebook filled with diagrams and plan to sign up for more classes.
By the end of the week I was whipped - but as relaxed as a kid coming home from sleepover camp.
Sticks and Stones are located in Honeywood but will be moving to another location this fall. Founder Skeet Sutherland hosted a weekend workshop in Toronto put on through Toronto's P.I.N.E. Project. They have a fairly lengthy list of events coming up through winter and fall and run camps for kids throughout the summer.