Invitations into pedagogies of attunement
A Douglas Fir fallen years ago where we enter and leave Haro Woods has become known to us as Waiting Log. Waiting Log was named as it was a convenient spot to gather, catch our breath and ensure we are all present and accounted for. Yes, we do all of these things while we wait. But Waiting Log is more than a place of waiting. Kimmerer (2003) suggests that, "mosses and other small beings issue an invitation to dwell for a time right at the limits of ordinary perception. All it requires of us is attentiveness. Look in a certain way and a whole new world can be revealed" (p. 8). Waiting Log issues an invitation to pause, sense, and be attentive. Waiting Log reveals a papery hornet nest which begins to form early spring and buzzes with life all summer until it meets the ground in the windy wet fall. As we sit upon Waiting Log pileated woodpecker holes become apparent on nearby trees, eliciting conversation and wonder about forest homes and eating rituals. Mushrooms, moss, sow bugs, and rot draw our bodies close to Waiting Log as we become curious about entangled life-sustaining moments in the forest. As we gather Waiting Log calls on us to carefully listen to the songs of birds while reminding us these forest voices can be all too easily silenced by our own voices and actions. We feel twisting English Ivy, an invasive species in these lands, grabbing hold of Waiting Log and are reminded that our relationship to this forest is historied, cultured, entangled. Waiting Log provokes us to remember with Kimmerer (2016), “attention is the doorway to gratitude, the doorway to wonder, the doorway to reciprocity” (para 24). Waiting Log invites us into pedagogies of attunement—inciting us to slow down, take notice, attune and become attentive to the histories, present moments and possible futures of the places we linger with.
Kimmerer, R. W. (2003). Gathering Moss: A natural and cultural history of mosses. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press
Kimmerer, R. W. (2016, February 25). The Intelligence in all kinds of life. (K. Tippett, Interviewer). Retrieved from https://onbeing.org/programs/robin-wall-kimmerer-the-intelligence-in-all-kinds-of-life-jul2018/