The Afternoon Walk
After lunch we walk up past the island buildings and along the cliffs which stretch from end to end along the southern edge of East Anacapa. Victor's talk continues amidst the nesting gulls, coreopsis, and other wildflowers. At one point everyone holds on to the shoulders of the person in front and closes his or her eyes. Victor leads the long line to a particular spot then assembles them and asks the group to open their eyes all at once. The view is spectacular.
We are at the western edge of East Anacapa and below us we see the long thin razor edge of Middle Anacapa, the more formidable West Anacapa, with the more immense Santa Cruz in the far distance. For a moment there is silence, then the kids begin to share their thoughts. It is a very special moment for everyone. There are moments of wonder out here, loads of them, and these are precious moments, for they are so very difficult to find in the classroom back at school.
After a game in which some of the students build a food pyramid by stacking bodies (biggest on bottom), the group begins its walk back to the docking area. It is time for the students to write about their experiences and though some do reluctantly, surprisingly, most go at it. Teachers share a few thoughts about what to write and then leave the students to the task. There will be poems I'm sure, and stories of new things experienced, and things not before imagined. I await learning what the students have to say.
Then, finally, it is back along the path.