There is something about the smell that lingers in the air after a rainstorm in the summer time… for me it is extremely calming and refreshing, and it brings back many memories of summers spent playing outside as a child.
Unfortunately, this summer we have had very few rainstorms, meaning far fewer chances to enjoy this experience. However, this week we were lucky enough to receive some much needed rain!
The rain triggered a conversation between myself and a 9-year-old girl. I asked her why she thought rain was important, and her answer was sweet and simple: “It helps everything on the earth, like plants so they are able to grow, and for people to drink!” She then continued with “When the earth needs a drink, Mother Nature makes it rain!”
The Garden of Fire continues to spark imaginations this year with the theme of WATER.
So far this summer the Corning Youth Center has visited The Rockwell Museum to make clay animal sculptures to protect their gardens, they have made and decorated their own rain sticks while learning about how to cope with their own emotions, and they have visited the Tanglewood Nature Center to go on a hike, meet some of their fascinating animals, and participate in a drumming circle, all while learning about the importance of water.
In each of these activities youth were encouraged to use their imaginations and to be creative. For their animal sculptures at The Rockwell, each youth was asked to choose a specific animal that they themselves could relate to. Some youth chose a bird, some chose snakes, another chose an elephant, and a young girl chose a lion. When asked why she chose a lion, specifically a male lion, she said:
“Because lions are strong, courageous, and fierce, like me!”
These moments are why we love Garden of Fire.
Laura Richardson Houghton Corning Youth Center
Photos courtesy of Dan Gallagher Photography