By Amy Naegeli
Most days here at Crystal Peaks, there’s a beautiful dance that goes on. Children are met by their leaders and they proceed to the paddocks to find their equine ‘dance partners’. They walk lead rope in hand to the arena and begin a waltz that’s characterized by trust, sometimes a missed step, but ultimately the delight of finding a mutually beneficial moment between rider and horse.
On very special days, there’s a different type of dance that takes place.
Weeks before a Harvest Day, the staff begins to research, plan, create and test projects that they desire to teach the kids. When the day finally arrives, it’s a tossup as to who’s more excited; the staff or the kids!
Like a little whirlwind of excitement coming up the hill, kids of all ages show up to start learning something new. A flurry of paper cutting can be seen in the corner of the barn while the smell of Elmer’s glue and cinnamon wafts through air. Moms congregate near the inviting wood stove, still within ear shot of their younger children at the craft table. Busy little hands make invaluable art for their adoring parents. There’s always something for everyone on Harvest Day, whether it’s making a plinko board in wood shop, creating bees wax candles into colorful shapes, treasure hunting for potatoes in the garden or learning to sew a cozy hat for the winter.
Even in the height of this wonderful hullabaloo, there are intentional conversations that happen between leaders and kids. A special depth of discussion unfolds as creativity flows and the love of Jesus is spoken and taught. Harvest Day also affords the opportunity for many volunteers and staff who don’t normally participate in horse sessions, to share their wisdom with the kids. The blessing of these days is mutually enjoyed by everyone.
As the day winds down and classes come to a close, there’s an undeniable sense of accomplishment in the kids. Scattered groups of smiling faces with arms full of crafted treasures begin to trickle down the driveway. None of this happens without knowing that something really good was cultivated on those days…in the dance.