Wednesday, June 28, 2006

One for the River

Our Roots & Shoots group sponsored an event this year called "One for the River". This was the event's sixth year, however the previous coordinator needed to step down and asked our group to take it over in hopes of getting more children involved. We really had a great day.

So what is One for the River? It is a day of gratitude and reverance for the river and the community that it supports. It is about taking time out of our busy lives to come down to the bosque and bring a little water from home to "give back" to the river during the hottest and longest time of the year (longest days that is), summer solstice.

We all came down to the river, both R&S families and other community members; and brought water from our homes. The morning began with each family adding some of their water to the main bowl and saying where they brought it from and who they are. Once we all contributed to the bowl the kids then took the bowl around the bosque and spread it out around the trees. This was followed by a pilgrimage to the rivers edge where a Shaman said a blessing and asked each person to take a moment to say thank you to the river before pouring their water in.

This was followed by my introducing our R&S kids and having them march our peace dove around the bosque to the sound of traditional native american flutes playing. It was great. They all took it so seriously and were so proud of their dove.

This was then followed by people sharing stories or art work that they made to share that morning. Almost every family had at least one child who chose to make something and share it. They were terrific.

After all the One for the River ceremony was over, our group stayed in the bosque for a nature playdate and our end of year party. Our group does not do "recognition" however we did receive a wonderful letter and certificate from the Roots & Shoots headquarters and Dr. Goodall herself. I was so happy for the kids I made copies of them and gave each family one to keep at home. I also made them cd's with music that supports our goals in R&S. It was a lot of fun. the kids were happy, and I loved having them all get to play in the bosque. They were having so much fun exploring, climbing trees and playing with the sticks and things they found. From the youngest little itty-bitties all the way up to the Mom's and Dad's. It was a nice way to spend a Saturday morning.

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