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Seven days ago we were dropped about here
To Kroka we came, with a flourish of giddy excitement,
We traveled the lands, not devoid of all fear,
But each brought a spark of newfound delightment.

We gathered all round the great circle be
and our roots sank in hope, as the root of a tree,
and brother and sister stood hand in hand,
to wish luck to this journey, these people, this land.

Semester students, families and Kroka staff gather around the Welcome Circle on Arrival Day.

Now! Our adventures are waiting, fairy sprites in the wings.
And our hearts beat fondly with the stories we bring,
of past adventures, songs and ruminations
Samuel, Trish and Ruby guide our explorations
And walk with the skip that late summertime brings.

Hand in hand, walking into the beginning of our journey together.

Here we wake before the sun,
Before the heat comes for the spiderwebs spun,
we crawl from our cocoons, to the boathouse we creep,
to move our stiff limbs and shake off the sleep.

When I asked Patrick about our daily yoga sessions, he said, “Taking a second to sit in my body and hold space
for myself has been huge. There is a lot of peace to be found in a routine like this.”

“Yoga is hard,” Finn said later. “But I still look forward to it.

I don’t know what it is about being here that makes me so excited for everything.”

Diego, Patrick and James learn to knit with Sasha.

Our first week here has been about community, and it’s abundantly clear that through trial comes unity. For fitness blocks in the morning we have been swimming with Ruby and mountain biking with Roberto. As we bounce through the woods I couldn’t help but laugh at how unprepared we looked. “It felt really good to know we were in it together,” Willow remarked, her bright eyes a-dancing. “It’s an exhilarating feeling” said James.

“It’s more risk, and I’m more willing to give things a try. It seems like that’s the most important part.”

One afternoon we rode our bikes to the Profile to rock climb. The face of the rock rose out of the ground as if rearing for the sky. Moss and greenery laced the stone along the path of our ascent. The top ropes were set and waiting for us as we met Roberto. Rock climbing is a special sort of exercise, and it demands a range of movements physically, mentally, and emotionally. We must move our bodies to reach distant hand and footholds in odd contortions. If you are climbing your trust must rest in the hands of your belayers holding the rope below you. If you’re on the ground, you must pay very close, safe attention to your climber, and everyone must be prepared to act. “Take it easy and believe in yourself” Diego told me later. “Enjoy being around the people supporting each other.”

Jasmine testing out her mountain bike on campus.

So far we have begun our daily journaling and sit spots, and kicked off two academic studies: sustainability with Emily and the study of watersheds with Misha. Cecily shared, “I love that we are able to talk to each other about the material, and get out in nature.

Every time is class time, really, there is no separation.”

Our path wore down, round and round
and brought us to the forest.
The rocks range high, a spirit there found,
as they sang out in ancient chorus.

Jasmine and Samuel work on Jasmines bike during the Dirty Pizza ride.

Though one short week we’ve been together
It oddly feels like years
And when we take up hands to dance,
the vast world disappears
Where we are to go together is still unseen,
But we shall float through this life,
like a life from a dream.

-your Scribe, Avela

Regrouping after the Dirty Pizza gravel ride at Orchard Hill Breadworks.