Island Voices

Staying Healthy With the Seasons
Island Voices

Staying Healthy With the Seasons

We are in the time of Winter, Rest, Earth, North, Elderhood. Elson M. Haas, M.D. wrote the book, “Staying Healthy with the Seasons.” I was drawn to this knowledge in the 90s, and Haas’s book was very influential on my learning journey.  The insights he shared resonated with my inner knowing, and enlivened my passion for health and wellness….

Snowballs and Snowboards
Island Voices

Snowballs and Snowboards

It’s just not nice to be hit with a snowball with a rock in it. At Cove, we forbade the use of rocks. They took the fun out of a good snowball fight. We hid behind the walls of our forts, a wall of giant snowballs that could be four or five feet high. Behind the wall, we…

Kitchen Medicine
Island Voices

Kitchen Medicine

There are many things in our kitchen cupboards that can bolster our body’s ability to heal itself. Every mother is a bit of a medicine woman, and what do you do if no doctor is available? Prevention is of course the best medicine. We all know that fresh air, fresh vegetables and fruits, and plenty…

The Virtues of Self-Directed Play, Nature Immersion, and Place-Based Learning
Island Voices

The Virtues of Self-Directed Play, Nature Immersion, and Place-Based Learning

I am the founder and principal teacher at the Vashon Art and Nature School (VAANS), where self-directed play, nature immersion, and place-based learning are all foundational methodologies. These interrelated and interdependent methodologies were developed from the work of academics, teachers, predecessors, practitioners, and my own experiences.  One such experience was working with founder Erin Kenny…

Squeaking Silver
Island Voices

Squeaking Silver

I was down on the floor on my hands and knees when John Sweetman walked in the door. “What are you doing,” he asked? “I have lost a gold crown while biting into a Winter apple,” I replied. John got right down on the floor to help me look. My little Jack Russell Terrier was hunting the floor with…

The Dorsal Spin: Rare Vashon Superpod
Island Voices

The Dorsal Spin: Rare Vashon Superpod

When I lived on San Juan Island and interned at The Whale Museum in the early 1990s, I saw at least one Southern Resident killer whale (SRKW) superpod each summer. A true superpod occurs when every member of the Southern Resident community congregates, though sometimes the term is applied to a gathering of most, but…

Island Voices

Washington State Parents Get a Seat at the Table

I have good news for Washington State parents. On September 30, a text came from my friend who is a Washington school board president. He was in the middle of a virtual meeting for the Washington State School Directors Association general assembly.  WSSDA is the association that oversees and governs all 295 state school boards….

Ode to Sheba the Brave
Island Voices

Ode to Sheba the Brave

Sheba the Brave captured my heart the first time I met her. A brown tabby who looked more ocelot than cat, we greeted each other, she on her stool and me on my chair, knees to front paws. Suddenly, she stood and crawled into my lap. Her foster mom exclaimed, “I’ve never seen her do…

Island Voices

The Treasure That Is the Vashon Senior Center

By Rich Osborne If you have been following my letters, you know that I lead the Music Mends Minds sing-along at 1:30 p.m. every Tuesday at the Vashon Senior Center. You should also know about other programs the Vashon Senior Center offers. Just last month, the Senior Center hosted Monday/Wednesday/Friday lunch service and delivery and…

The Dancing Wild – Within and Without
Island Voices

The Dancing Wild – Within and Without

When I smell the Ponderosa Pine needles baking in the summer sun, I feel a deep warmth in my belly. I feel a sense of homeliness akin to sitting in front of a fire with a cup of coffee. Growing up, I found a home in the wild. The wild home that Merriam Websters defines…

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