Facing into the Wind

Facing into the Wind

Val Rathjen, Community Learning Network

0 2 5 March 2024

Facing into the Wind

Prairie WinterFor anyone living on the prairies, wind is a familiar part of our world. If I’m honest, it is not always something I embrace as I prefer still calm mornings that stretch through the day into peaceful starry nights. However, I recognize that wind serves a purpose. It helps pollinate and spread seeds across the plains, it sifts and purifies, and moves the weather systems that nourish the land.

Recently, much of Alberta was deep in a snowstorm accompanied by some serious wind. Here in Killam, we shovelled our walk 3 or 4 times just to keep it passable. Trips to our woodshed became more challenging as the snow deepened and the path disappeared. At times I couldn’t see the barn across the yard because of the swirling snow. March certainly came in like a lion and reminded us that winter is still with us, even though we can sense that spring is on the horizon.

After the storm, I went for a walk with my dog, Winnie, down our country road and I couldn’t help noticing the landscape around me. The fields were blank canvas’. In places it was hard to see where the road ended and where the fields began. The road before us was a clean slate; Winnie and I were the first to leave our mark.

I’m struck by how closely nature mirrors life. The winds blow and we feel uncertain as things that once were clear and sure seem lost in the swirl. We feel disorientated until the sun of a new day opens a landscape of new possibilities. The wind has washed the horizon, and now we see things without the distractions of the past. Familiar pathways may be gone, but there are now opportunities to blaze a new trail and leave our mark in a new way.

So, what does this have to do with Community Adult Learning Programs? Well, my sense is that many of you have been feeling a little wind whipped lately. Maybe there have been increased demands on your time and energy or personal, professional and community needs pressing in from every side. When the wind has been blowing for quite a while, how do we find our way?

Look for your anchor points - Hold tight to the people, places, and experiences that bring you life. Lean into the tried and proven, and take time to nourish relationships with folks who understand what you are walking through.

Looking for a connection point:
East Connection Café - March 18, 11:00-12:00
West Connection Café - March 18, 11:00-12:00
North Connection Café – March 18, 1:00-2:00
• South Connection Café: College Editions
          o Lethbridge College – March 19, 10:00-3:00
          o Bow Valley College – March 21, 10:00-1:00
          o Medicine Hat College – March 26, 12:00-3:00

Open your hand –Wind brings us the opportunity to open our hand and let go. My father, who farmed his whole life, would say that the wind blows the chaff away and leaves the seed. Open your hand, let this season blow away the busyness, the pressure, the extras, and trust that the important seeds will remain.

Want to talk about those important seeds?
CALP Community Talks about ~ What it means to be Rural – March 27, 1:30-2:30
Holding Safer Space Open Circle ~ Anatomy of Trust – April 9, 2:00-3:30
Literacy Practitioners Share, Learn, Grow – April 10, 11:00-12:00

Blaze a new trail - As the wind passes and a new day dawns, instead of longing for the paths of the past, open your eyes to the possibilities of something new. This is an area where CALP staff excel. You dare to dream about what could be and take the risks to make it happen. This quote sums up this part of the journey:
“You won't gain anything new as you walk the path that millions have walked! Create a new path, walk to a new horizon; learn new things, teach new things to others!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan

Want to explore something new?
The Best of Both Worlds: Virtual and Hybrid Programming that feels like in person – March 21, 10:00-11:30
Inside Out: A curious conversation about trauma-informed approaches from the inside out – March 21 & 28 – 1:30-3:00
Ask us Anything about Metis & Indigenous Worldview – April 4, 10:30-12:00

As we all hold on through winter's last hoorah, remember spring is on the horizon. Let's turn our face to the sun and lean into the wind as it blows in new hope and possibility.

Winnie and I are cheering you on!


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