I’ve enrolled in the School of Nature.
My classroom is a 60 acres parcel of mixed forest and meadow on the west side of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. It is a sloping bit of land along the Mabou River, about 6 kilometres inland from the Atlantic Ocean. This land is on traditional, unceded Mi’kMaw territory and is called “home” by our First Nations hosts, Gaels, Acadians, the descendants of settler-folk and new-comers of all spots and stripes.
About 70 years ago, there was a farm here, and a small barn- built by settlers- now only the foundations remain. Sheep were kept, but mostly hay was grown in the three meadows. There are three brooks that criss cross the land, and many different ecosystems. For 50 years, it has been sitting quietly, quite untouched.
I arrived here in May of 2018, and this is the story of how I found a way to live quietly and peacefully among the trees and healing water.
As the story unfolds, we will explore things like sustainable living ( How to Live on the Earth without Making Her Sick) communal living (How to Share Stuff), tiny houses (Living in the Right-sized Space for my Needs) off-grid power (Learning to Utilize the Sun and Wind) and land stewardship (How do I Keep the Land and Water Healthy?)
Friends will gather to take part in classes too; it’s no fun being a student alone. This farm will grow into a community of diverse people sharing common values and a deep desire to connect with one another and Mother Earth.
Together, we are going to learn about plants, and animals, and water, and ecosystems. And we are going to explore what it means to live together, share resources and to support one another in becoming our best selves.
But we aren’t going to start with our brains, we are going to start with our curiosity; our wonder.