Earth Is Love

IMG_3419 IMG_3438 We work in many landscapes, each with their own beauty to behold as we travel- at times jumping seasons- bridging students across the globe. There is still snow on the mountains at higher elevations in Colorado. A little mind boggling, yet welcomed change, for the two CIH members having left the south already draped in summer-like heat. As we drove through the mountains from Denver into Vail, invigorated by the fresh evergreen air, the lower elevation had the beginnings of the spring green on aspen trees. Every morning, we could see the growth in the leaves, and hillsides all the way to mountain-tops, were painted lime green by the end of the week. Who doesn’t love extending spring and watching Earth come to life again?

As we pass the artwork out for 6th and 7th graders at Vail Mountain School, quiet soaking-it-in quickly changes to familiar excited motion around the room with students sharing highlights and awe for what is in their hands. Alfonso shyly smiles as he is handed his letter addressed “To my best friend Alfonso.” Caitlin is so elated and comments she will take it home and frame it.  Maddy shares with her class, while the artwork is beautiful, she is most captured by the words inscribed:” I love Earth, because Earth is love. “ Another student reads, “This is a wheel of color and rebirth of flowers in the middle, the hearts representing love for life. Various symbols on the outside represent joy.”

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Many of the students completed mandala templates, which they found relaxing, centering and peaceful to create. In Ghana, these same feelings filled to heat soaked rooms as they created. While simple in design, they offered quiet time to reflect on where their art was going, the beauty of color and the natural world, and how much we all have in common.  Maddy commented that she will remember most from this project “the idea that life should be simple, pleasant, peaceful and full of love.” We also asked the students what similarities they share. Valeria shared how touched she was “that we are all friends, and we are united.” Cameron comments, “no matter who you are, you can always make a difference.” Minds and hearts have connected through joy, tapping a wellspring of understanding and caring. Earth is Love.