David Abram, in The Spell of the Sensuous writes of the animateness of the natural world:

"The colour of the sky, the rush of waves - every aspect of the earthly sensuous could draw us into a relationship fed with curiosity and spiced with danger. Every sound was a voice, every scrape or blunder was a meeting with Thunder, with Oak, with Dragonfly. And from all of these relationships our collective sensibilities were nourished." 

On the way to begin a guided imagery activity and pretend to be trees, a child in our 4-5 year old Forest School group exclaimed “I know what trees are.”

 “Oh tell us, what are trees?”
“They are made of wood.
And they are tall.”

 (Now with other children joining in, in excitement….)

 And they are very, very tall.
Taller than cars and
taller than people.
Taller than shelves;
Taller than chairs;
Taller than Giants!

Giants? What are giants?

They are big and they come out at night and they eat little children that are awake.
Bedtime giants.

Red giants,
Black giants.
Poisonous, white, brown,
Purple and
Yellow

And bedtime giants

And navy blue giants
Navy green
And Navy red.

Why do they have different colours?

Because some are poisonous, some are not
Some are nice. 

Bigger than a tree.
So you can tell who they are.

 

And so, on our very first day of Forest School we entered into a world of giant trees and Tree Giants, which then has led us into an exploration of the mythology of tree folk, the animateness of trees and the "nourishing of our collective sensibilities."

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AuthorLisa Menzies