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" One touch of nature

makes all the world kin "

William Shakespeare

Children Under-Rated as Allies in Spiritual Development

August 5th, 2011

Just back from the Order’s Lughnasadh camp which had even more children and young adults present than ever. And what a great bunch they were! I wish I could share some photos but I don’t have any, but I just feel moved to honour them and to recognize as well that they can act as tremendous allies in our spiritual life. In the early days of camps there was sometimes a problem around the adults being so keen to sample the benefits of camp (talks, workshops, rituals etc) that the kids were ‘in the way’ and we struggled with sometimes having to remind parents that their kids were their responsibility. But camps have been going for over 15 years and now kids and young adults feel wonderfully and harmoniously integrated into the daily life of camp. For some great photos and descriptions of camp see the OBOD Camps website.

Just before we went to camp I was reminded of how our kids can help us in our spiritual growth. However much we try to free ourselves of so-called ‘ego’ it’s hard not to want to show pride in our achievements, but even though we may try to avoid the excesses of bragging, kids have amazing BS detectors and soon bring the ego down to earth with the complete disinterest best displayed by teenagers. “I’m in a movie which is being premiered at BAFTA. Would you like to come?” I asked our daughters – thinking they might be impressed. A few searching questions and they discovered it was a ten minute clip for The Woodland Trust that was being launched, and they declined the invitation. Perhaps it is a parent’s role to help inoculate their children against the blandishments of the ego!

The Woodland Trust film is designed to raise awareness of the continuing risk to UK public forests. The battle that occurred earlier this year is not yet over sadly. Once the clip is up on Youtube, I’ll post it…In the meanwhile here is a Layered Beech Tree at Kilravock Castle – This is one of two Layered Beech trees in the castle grounds, said to be over 325 years old.