My emotions are like the rise and fall of waves as I set out to describe my journey through a self directed challenge. I take into consideration my passion and goal. I am passionate about community and family. I want to create a supportive group that is inclusive and acknowledges all people. I want to create space for this value because the experience of people caring for each other, spending time together, and working together to create and be productive gives me a feeling of connection and wholeness. It’s like a tree planted in earth, growing strong, its branches reaching out and creating shade. Creating a continuation of posture, impact ripples outward to the world.
My goal for this challenge was to be a tree by creating a venue for gratitude, especially as we get ready to leave Paonia. I wanted to create a space of acknowledging and expressing the way our time in Paonia has also been like a nourishing foundation tree. Dave, a student in the U.A. Adventure Semester who celebrates Canadian Thanksgiving, inspired me to create an Adventure Semester Thanksgiving. To do this, I invited neighbors to a special dinner and asked them if they had materials they could share to create a special Thanksgiving. They gave me fabric to make into tablecloths and runners and items for center pieces. I also made my own dish out of the left overs from people in my group. One of my goals was to only trade and use recycled resources to decorate the venue because this brings the community together.
As I sit here looking at the festive tables and awaiting the food the rest of my group has worked hard to prepare, I feel accomplished in my goal of providing a space for community and for gratitude. All that remains is for us to gather in the shade I’ve provided. I feel as though I am a tree. ~ Catherine Canann