Stories from my personal journey learning about and delivering Nature-rooted programs across three different countries

Is the forest really magic?

Caylin (Forest Schooled)
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Spring is officially bursting where I am and it has brought so much excitement to all of us at Forest School. The changes have been so rapid that the forest is almost unrecognisable. It’s like we’re meeting new friends left and right as we notice plants emerging from the soil and leaf buds unfurling on the trees.

As the children have eagerly explored, I’ve overheard them say “It’s a beautiful world here!” One group even named a patch of forest “The Magic Forest!”
Upon hearing this name one 5 year old child asked me, “Is the forest really magic?”
The question stumped me at first. What is magic after all? Who was I to say whether the forest was magic or not?
I thought about it a bit more.
Could it give us the ability to fly? Well, yes, as we play out imaginary games of superheroes amongst the trees.
Could it produce potions? Well, yes, as we mix mud, leaves, pine needles and sticks to create powerful recipes.
Could it mystify us with amazing transformations right before our eyes? Well, yes, as new buds, leaves, flowers, and insects appear where they hadn’t been the week, day or even hour before!
So my response to the child was this, “I think magic is a feeling. It’s hard to describe it, but when you get that feeling inside, then you know it’s magic.”
She seemed satisfied with that answer and went on her way. But actually I think it may have meant more to me. Because now I’m whole heartedly convinced.
Yes, the forest is magic.

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