For many of us, nature has long served as a steadfast teacher in the life-long practice of becoming fully human. The changing seasons remind us that life is constantly in flux, always cycling through birth and death. The cheerful yellow of the dandelion insists that beauty flourishes in the most commonplace of things. The build-up of massive storm clouds on a summer afternoon mirrors strong emotions surging through us. A walk through the forest brings us into kinship with the trees, plants, animals and insects with whom we share this planet.
Throughout the ages, poets have distilled observations of the natural world with insights about human experience, thus bridging the outer world of nature with the inner world of the soul. Both nature and poetry crack open our hearts: together, they offer wisdom about ourselves, our relationships with each other and with the earth.
This online course, Nature’s Poetry, consists of five monthly video-conferences of two hours each. From January through May, we’ll meet virtually to delve into the lessons offered by nature and poetry, engaging in reflections, exercises and exchanges. As well, you’ll have access to a virtual ‘poem basket’ containing poems and prose poems relevant to each month’s theme.
Here’s our route:
Session One: Our personal connection with nature; what is it about nature that affects us so deeply?
Session Two: Choosing and discovering a sacred patch of earth.
Session Three: The seasons and the elements; how do the outer landscapes mirror our inner landscapes?
Session Four: Mystery and transformation; what mysteries abound in our patch of earth? What mysteries lie under the surface of ourselves?
Session Five: Connection and responsibility; our relationship to the earth, to its species and to each other.
In between sessions, you’re invited to deepen your learning through optional monthly homework, partner work and posting observations on Rendezvous, the dedicated and secure virtual space on this website.
Dates and times:
Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018
Wednesday, Feb. 28
Wednesday, March 28
Wednesday, April 25
Wednesday, May 23
All sessions will be held at the following times:
9:30 to 11:30 am, Pacific Time; 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, Central Time; 12:30 to 2:30 pm, Eastern Time; 5:30 to 7:30 pm, Greenwich Time
Cost: $240 USD by Paypal; $275 CAD by e-transfer or Paypal.
Limited to 12 participants
To register, please contact me.
~ from "Sometimes" by Mary Oliver