Blog Posts by Ann Linnea

Teachers Do NOT Carry Guns

I have been a teacher all of my life. My partner and three sisters are teachers. Many, many of my friends are teachers. Teachers do NOT Carry Guns. It is the antithesis of what we are called to do with our lives. We find joy in connecting with our students to help them learn things. We find challenge in articulating subjects so that students of many different learning styles can find the AHA moment that ...
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Medicine Walk

A Medicine Walk is different from an ordinary walk. It is done alone, in silence, and in solitary connection with the natural world. The intention of the walk is to see, hear, smell, observe, and sense as much as possible. It is a traditional part of the preparation for a wilderness fast and it has become a lifetime spiritual practice for me. In this year when threats to our precious earth loom large I have ...
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Traditional Knowledge

I am an Anglo-American, descendant of immigrants: 50% Swedish and 50% northern European (Irish, Scotch, German, French). Blue eyes and blond hair, now silver; I was educated in public schools and state universities where western scientific knowledge provided the framework for my thinking. I appreciate this knowledge and I believe these times require me to continue to question and expand the worldview I was handed. Books as Bridges to Traditional Knowledge The Hidden Life of ...
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Rituals of Readiness

I spin the globe that sits by my desk. All of my life I have lived in the north. I was born and raised in southern Minnesota at 43.6666 degrees N. latitude and over the years have migrated up to my current location of 48.0095 degrees N. latitude. (The 49th parallel is the boundary between the U.S. and Canada.) Living in the north requires big attention during the shift from autumn to winter. Before the ...
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The Perspective of Time

The ridge top wind is ripping at my rain gear, frequently knocking me off balance. Rain is blowing sideways. Ahead is a small opening into the heart of an ancient rock tomb. I bend over and make my way inside. First one step, then the next. Quiet. Neither wind nor rain can penetrate here. My eyes slowly adjust to the dim light. Ten steps ahead the passage ends in a chamber. I stand upright and ...
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A Scholarship for Paramedics

The world is full of news about natural disasters as we in the northern hemisphere make the turn from summer to fall—Hurricane Harvey hitting Texas, Hurricane Irma hitting the Caribbean Islands and Florida, wildfires all over the western United States, and then a huge earthquake in Mexico. These disasters are profoundly served by emergency medical professionals—in my eyes the true modern day heroes. This weekend also marks another cycle of the Brian Schimpf memorial scholarship ...
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Climbing the Big Tree

“Do you want to go higher?” came the question from the dusky shadows below. Our 12-year-old grandson, Jaden, and I looked down the deeply furrowed bark of the immense Douglas fir tree towards our guide and the source of the question. We two were about 85 feet up in the air, resting in our climbing harnesses tethered about half way up a 250-year old Douglas fir tree. Jaden looked from the guide back at me ...
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Community Sit Spots

My last blog was about the benefit of establishing a Sit Spot in nature. If there is personal benefit from having your own Sit Spot, what could be accomplished by Community Sit Spots? Whidbey Island Audubon Society with support from the Island County Marine Resources Committee has sent 40-60 volunteers out to island beaches for one hour of Sit Spot activity every week from mid June to mid August for the past thirteen summers. Nesting ...
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Sit Spot

The idea is simple, really. Plunk yourself down someplace outdoors and sit still for 15 minutes—no electronic devices, no books, just your eyes, ears, and sense of smell wide open. What do you observe? On Mother’s Day I was making a call to my dear 90-year-old mother while sitting indoors near our front picture window. It was early morning, chilly and overcast. While talking with Mom, I noticed the little junco leave its nest on ...
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Youth—Let’s Talk!

It has been my great privilege and joy to spend much of my time these last weeks immersing myself in youthful spontaneity, curiosity, and creativity. First, there was our marvelous, annual time with our dear grandchildren. Jaden (12) and Sasha (6) are city kids with a willingness to follow their grandmothers most anywhere.    This year we decided to take them to Orcas Island for 5 days of exploration based in a cabin with no ...
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