Words

Rooted Emerging

Rites of passage for local youth

Attend

More:

WHAT & WHEN: The Chrysalis Sisters, for young women 11-14, begins Sun., Jan. 5. Apollo’s Crossing, for young men 12-15, begins Sun., Jan. 12
PARTICULARS: The groups meet every other Sunday from Jan.-May. Registration closes Jan. 1
WHERE: In and around Whatcom County    
INFO: (360) 510-3205 or http://www.rootedemerging.org

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Adulthood can be tricky to master, but hearken back to the days when your body was changing just about every time you looked in the mirror, and it became clear you were no longer a kid. 

If you’re like me, the transition from childhood into adolescence wasn’t always easy. In fact, sometimes—like when I showed up for the first day of sixth grade with discernible breasts I’d acquired over the summer, and more than a few of my classmates felt the need to draw attention to them—it was downright embarrassing.

Vanessa Osage, a trained doula, activist and sexuality educator who also studied environmental sociology at the University of Oregon, knows that the body-and-mind transformation for those entering puberty can be a difficult one. She gave it even deeper thought after giving birth to her daughter five years ago. Not long after, Rooted Emerging, a support system for girls approaching womanhood—which culminates with a rite of passage—was born.

Since 2008, Rooted Emerging has grown alongside the young women—and now, young men—who take part in the programs. The first training consisted of a group of ladies sitting on Osage’s living room floor as she read from a book and took discussion notes. This year, the training was an eight-hour day at the WSU Extension (one of Rooted Emerging’s partners) that concluded with a sharing with the six-member board.

Registration is just around the corner for both the Chrysalis Sisters (for young women 11-14) and Apollo’s Crossing (for young men 12-15), and Osage and her volunteer mentors and visiting teachers would love to see the programs fill up by the new year.

The groups meet every other Sunday from early January through May, with activities focused on trust building, adventure and storytelling.

“The goal is to encourage a path for self-discovery right when identity is about to take new form, in a larger sphere,” Osage says. “So we engage in play, outdoor adventure, self-expression and cultivating inner tools for navigating life’s challenges. We honor the body, since that is also changing, and support self-care and acceptance.

“Approaching culmination, we encourage a personal philosophy that is tied to the earth and other supporting structures that are always available,” she adds. “Then, we hold a blessing ceremony with parents and bring the kids out to a wilderness area in the South Fork Valley. There, we draw together all we have experienced and discussed and hold space for their ‘testing.’ We create secure, personal spaces for each child to sleep overnight without a tent. All of us mentors and teachers are present to guide and support them. The following day, we share stories and workshops. By evening, we honor each young person in turn onstage as they are witnessed by friends and family.”

Osage says this is the first year they’re offering the program for boys, and notes there’s an amazing group of male counselors, educators, performance artists and body workers ready to step in and help the kids make their own transitions.

When I pointed out that the new year seemed like a good place to start thinking about changes both big and small, Osage was quick to agree.

“There is something about the fresh start of the new year, where people get oriented to their deepest priorities and what matters most,” she says. “So, I do see those taking this step as acting from that place.”

FCC Advent
More Words...
Virgil Wander
An antidote to what ails us

Leif Enger’s first book in a decade (So Brave, Young, and Handsome was published in 2008) is a gentle, charming antidote to all that ails us as a society these days. 

The title character, Virgil Wander, is the unassuming sole proprietor of a rundown independent movie theater in a…

more »
Booksellers' Best
The gift of words

Last December, I bought books for everyone on my gift list—whether they were avid readers or not. This required a bit of sleuthing. What exactly were my 20-year-old twin nephews in Missouri interested in these days? I discovered terrific books and, best of all, learned more about the…

more »
Season's Readings
A list for book lovers

The leaves have fallen, the hours of daylight grow shorter and there is a cold snap in the air reminding us that year’s end is nigh, and with it, holiday shopping!

Delight the book-lover in your life with these recent releases in adult nonfiction that explore how objects, books and…

more »
Events
Today
The Giving Tree

10:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|Bellingham Public Market

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Cook It and Book It

3:30pm|Lynden Library

Bellingham Mysterians

4:00pm|Village Books

Women's Snowshoeing Basics

6:00pm|REI

All-Paces Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Bellingham Reads

6:30pm|Bellingham Public Library

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Books on Tap

7:00pm|North Fork Brewery

Comedy Open Mic

7:30pm|Shakedown

Amahl and the Night Visitors

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Trove Web
Tomorrow
The Giving Tree

10:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|Bellingham Public Market

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Amahl and the Night Visitors

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Coat Drive

9:00am|Community Food Co-op

Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|Bellingham Public Market

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Lynden Front Streeters

2:00pm|Village Books

Hiking and Beer

5:00pm|Growlers Keep

The LIghts of Christmas

5:00pm|Warm Beach Camp

Histories & Mysteries Book Club

6:30pm|Everson Library

Creekside Open Mic

6:30pm|South Whatcom Library

Carols and Old Songs with Evan Ingalls

7:00pm|BAAY Theatre

The Mark Taylor Quartet

7:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Intro to Improv

7:00pm|Improv Playworks

Stomp 2018 Gift Guide
Thursday
The Giving Tree

10:00am|Village Books

Coat Drive

9:00am|Community Food Co-op

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|Bellingham Public Market

Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

The LIghts of Christmas

5:00pm|Warm Beach Camp

Birding Adventures

9:00am|Skagit Valley

Valley Crafters Holiday Bazaar

10:00am|Deming Presbyterian Church

Winter Wear Drive

10:00am|Community Food Co-op

Literacy Council Seeks Volunteers

10:00am

English Country Dancing

1:30pm|Bellingham Senior Activity Center

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Poetry Writing Group

5:30pm|Village Books

Jazz Jam

5:30pm|Illuminati Brewing

White Elephant Incognito Dinner

6:00pm|Ciao Thyme

Ballet Bellingham presents The Nutcracker

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Journey's Christmas

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

A Christmas Carol

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Noel Noir

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

The Naughty List, A Holiday Cabaret

9:00pm|Firefly Lounge

see our complete calendar »

Stomp Village Books VoicePlay Portland Cello Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Trove Web 2018 Gift Guide