In culture and literature from around the world, water represents emotions and obstacles that we need to overcome.
Water comes in all forms. It can be intense and powerful like with hurricanes, floods and tsunamis; or it can soft and calming like a gentle rain or a babbling brook.
Our emotions work exactly the same way. Difficult life events can be destructive and leave us feeling overwhelmed. Positive life events can leave us feeling at peace. In order to learn how to cope with these emotions, we have to first be able to understand them. Using water as a metaphor can help us do that effectively.
This year for the CareFirst Garden of Fire program, youth participants will be making their very own rain stick as we talk about their emotions and how to cope with them.
Each group will engage in discussion about the history of rain sticks and the cycle of how emotion connects to their personal lives, the community we share and the cycle of re-shaping the earth and regrowth that occur in nature. The cycle of emotion will be connected by demonstrating the relationship between rain and emotions.
Each child will construct and decorate individual rain sticks using animals in nature that they feel best relate to their emotions. A bear could signify anger that they feel or strength and courage within oneself; a chameleon could be interpreted as smart and resourceful to blend into its current surroundings in basic survival.
The sounds made by the rain sticks can also be used to symbolize ones emotions for that time. For example, water can create a gentle or intense sound, which can be used to symbolize ones emotions.
We look forward to The Garden of Fire festival, when all of the children will be together, and will have the opportunity to use their rain sticks to create music as a group.