Below is an excerpt from an email one of our staff sent to participants from our Mothers & Daughters program for 9-12 year old girls and their moms:
Dear Mommas and Daughters,
Every once in a while, a small smiles creeps into my face as a memory visits me of our sweet time together, a few short weeks ago.
Singing songs to the moon, telling old family stories and recipes, playing games, making salve, building fires in silence, wandering by the stream, bowl burning and just enjoying the fire and moonlight… It was all so sweet! A bit bitter-sweet for me, as it will be my last session with you all, though I have hopes of coming as a guest to the summer one, hopefully with baby in tow!
One of the things I cherish so much during our time together is watching you all as mothers. I feel as if I’m in training and am constantly taking notes in my body, heart, and mind about how you engage with your daughters.
I never see you hovering over them with judgement or protectiveness. There’s love and tenderness, but always tons of space for the girls to be who they are without correction or admonishment. They can be wild, loud, quiet, silly, serious and brazen, and all around them their moms and aunties are quietly loving and accepting them. What a powerful gift!
Thank you for coming out and sharing your stories and your love. It will nourish me for months to come. I get so caught up in the fun, I forget to take pictures, but here are a few.
I hope your homes are filled with songs, stories and salve for the months to come!
Esperanza is, and has always been, a teacher at heart. From the early age of 8 she would hold play groups in her church and tend to the young children who would often disrupt the sermons. This passion to teach carried on through the years, bringing her to SUNY New Paltz where she received her Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education and History. While living in New Paltz, she merged her love for the outdoors, her passion for teaching and her organizational and entrepreneurial skills into many different educational programs. She has taught in various local schools, led theater groups, kids yoga, art programs and of course worked with Wild Earth in a number of programs. Her commitment to community connection has guided her community service work in jails, juvenile centers, Americorps, inner-city art programs, soup kitchens and many more volunteer based initiatives. She sees every child's potential and knows there is no better way to hold their blossoming than through the arts and the exploration of the natural world. More about Esperanza's work.