~Deepening our Connection to Nature.....and to Ourselves~

Knowing Nature (Soc. 309) is a class designed to reawaken our intimate relationship to Nature. This connection can never lost but it is often forgotten in our very busy human-centered lives. Through this class, the bond between Nature and Self grew stronger through the teachings found within texts of nature writers, the land and one another. The last half of the semester, students were assigned to "deepen" their connection with nature. Each project was unique as each student focused on experiences which had meaning in their lives. For their final "report", each student created a "living story" or an "illuminated journal" using different forms of technology (audio, video, web site) to give a living quality to their work. What resulted were beautiful, intimate stories of people whose bond with Nature was reawakened, rekindled, strengthened. The students invite you to share in their stories...

Text by: Kate Trudeau, Summer 2003

~Capture a glimpse of Jean's powerful connection to Nature through six generations of "earthy" women; half of the women have returned to Nature, "ashes to ashes, dust to dust" while the other half are fully alive in the present knowing that they too have powerful stories that must be told and will one day return to Nature in the most elemental way~
~Experience a virtual meditation by connecting to John's project; where he shares personal artwork and a wish for us all: Each Moment Only Once. John embodies this teaching and chose to connect to Nature through his most recent passion, Japanese Art. These artists of the past integrated Nature into their Artwork, thus illustrating their deep connection~
~Connecting to Nature Through One Another-this is the theme that is threaded throughout Kate's project. While introducing her four-year-old daughter to new discoveries in Nature; Kate realizes that Avery is the greatest teacher of all and awakens the wonder and amazement in her that each chid innately feels when experiencing the beauty of Nature~
~As Jared anticipated the birth of his son, he began to understand the history of past generations. He researched the family history of his stepfather; what resulted was a common story shared by all North Dakotans. While Jared unlocks pieces of the past, he connects us all in a way that helps us remember our roots-deep within North Dakota~
~Pieces of the Prairie can be found all around us; Jason is a testimony to this fact-he unravels a rich history of love for the prairie through his neighbor, Mary. Together, they relive moments in time when Mary intimately explains her connection to the prairie and to North Dakota, thus enriching Jason's connection to Nature as well~
~The best friendships are those that help foster our personal growth along our journeys; this is evident in Andrea's project. She uses her connection to her best friend and the landscape of Montana to deepen her relationship to Nature, the teachings that unfold help strengthen the bond between the most natural relationship-Nature and Self~
~There are times in our lives where we undergo a transformation, a true renewal of Self; Becca is a beautiful example of such an experience. Becca's story is one in which we can all relate; lives become busy with activity and responsibility and Nature's wonder is often forgotten. Soon a realization takes place; the easiest way to rekindle the connection is to simply slow down~