Second rite of passage: considering the theme

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Ginny in her quilted “nest”.

Ginny’s first rite of passage was such a big hit on everyone’s radar (for the adults as well as the fledgling teen), that she and I were ready for round 2. Because the palette of colors was so rich in our first attempt (great food, great wisdom, great music), we thought, “why not broaden the spectrum”? Instead of a day retreat, we opted for a full weekend. More time for mentoring, more time for questions, more time for frolicking with the old fogies (I jest).

It was important when considering the thematic idea for this second rite of passage at age 18, that I look at current life circumstances and areas of “itching” importance for Ginny. Living in community was a biggie. She was considering moving in with a team of 5 other twenty-somethings (she being the only teenager) to volunteer on the south side of Chicago. So “community” was a consideration, but so could have been “living artfully” or “being the gift others open up”.

As I alluded to in an earlier post, in the end, we opted for “The Community Nest”. This one could bring out great lessons in “playing well with others” as well as incorporating fun aviary images such as “nesting”, “flying”, and “coming home”. . . . More twigs and feathers upcoming in the next post!

Second rite of passage: imagining your contribution

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Round two: everyone contributes! My job? To create a fun container for people to place their delectable and teachable offerings. And so, what to do? How to begin? Take one artist, one experienced game-player, two teachers, one journal-writer, a dancer, and a culinary dabbler and throw them into a big wide corrugated cardboard box (not really). Shake ’em around a bit, throw them onto the table like so many dice, and what do you get? All sorts of possibilities!!

Well, I didn’t do that exactly, but I did metaphorically! I invited the rite of passage mentors/participants to think about what they might like to teach Ginny. Since the theme was “building community” I asked them to think about a fun activity that might help Ginny learn to create a sense of community where she was soon moving to.

Some took off with great ideas from the get-go. Others needed a little gentle massaging, but what did I get in the end?

An amazing community art project we all engaged in and gifted to Ginny. A first hand view of building a seven course meal for a friendly gathering. A lesson in meaningful journaling. A frolicking twist on traditional game-playing. A literary brainstorm on sharing personal history with a crowd. And a jaunt into morning meditation and hand massage to promote self-care, care for others, and welcoming the day. Could a collection of mini-workshops be more diverse, engaging or interesting? I think not!!

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