I’m moved to share what feels to me to be a remarkable moment with your children. Most of you know that the Moon Lodge has been an ongoing project and that this past spring we managed to get a cover for the dome. This space has been dedicated to serve our older girls in many different ways including Rites of Passage.
Sunday I discovered that someone had cut a patch out of the cover and, this past week, I lived with the question of how to speak with the children and the girls about what happened––what would serve them pedagogically.
At first it was all about who did it, and how painful it felt to know that someone had done this to our Moon Lodge.
I don’t know if I will ever find out who did it and, at this point, it seems unimportant. What was important for me was to share how it felt to discover the damage and wonder, with the children, about what we should do.
For the girls I realized that I could use the cutting as a powerful metaphor. “Learning to do good boundaries,” I began, “speaking your truth, listening to your heart and being true to yourself is a teaching we strive to bring to you girls in many different ways.” We reflected upon these values and all agreed how very important they are to us.
“At the same time,” I pointed out, “so many things in life: media, our fast paced society, materialism, people who do not share and value being true to yourself can eat away/cut away at our resolve and we can be swept along by a strong current––far away from ourselves.”
I told the girls I plan to leave the cut out. “I am not going to repair it and I hope we all notice it whenever we enter the lodge and let it serve as a reminder to stay awake to our resolve to listen within and be true to ourselves.”
After viewing the damage with the younger children, we went inside and circled round the patch of canvas that was cut out and left on the ground.
I shared how painful it was to discover the cutting of our beloved Moon Lodge and I asked them what they thought we should do about it. After much conversation, one child suggested that they help protect the lodge. This was a perfect segue to bring all the work we have been doing with Kung Fu forward. In our opening verse we begin:
As a warrior of the heart
I train with discipline
to defend myself, my loved ones
and the weak…
“The lodge is not weak,” I said, “but it is vulnerable and she does need someone to watch over and protect her.” Excitement bristled around the room as the children imagined themselves as Warriors of the Heart watching out for something special at our Program; they all wanted to be Warriors of the Heart. Eventually they even decided to make badges (the staff scurried around and made it possible for the children to make badges that very day).
What an opportunity to reflect with the girls about how things can cut away at our resolve and our need to be vigilant. What a moment with the children to reflect upon the important values within Kung Fu and the appropriate and responsible use of this art.
What began as a very painful experience shifted into a powerful and impactful high teaching moment.
I love this work so much.