The Magic Of Childhood: A Tribute To Landrum And Aydan

The Magic Of Childhood: A Tribute To Landrum And Aydan

Two boys with kind souls and big dreams.
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This earth is filled with magic. This world holds beautiful people, each with their own unique light. Sometimes we forget or we lose sight of the magic and our light dims. We move through the motions of everyday life and we begin to feel unfulfilled. It takes another light to remind us of that magic we’ve forgotten. For me, that light was a farm, shining were two incredible and strong women raising two young boys with kind souls and big dreams. Their light, their love of life and passion to take care of our world reminded me of that magic. I’m forever changed and for that I am forever grateful.

Lisa, Elizabeth, Landrum, and Aydan live on an off-the-grid sustainable farm in the Appalachian Mountains. The family focuses on teaching and learning about breathing with nature, the animal and plant kingdoms, and the spirit realm. They serve as nature’s caregivers harvesting land using permaculture techniques and tending to many animals ranging from goats to guinea pigs; each chicken, duck, cat, and dog with a wildly different personality.

These boys, uninterested in conformity, love the life they live. They learn and grow every day while they explore and discover all this world has to offer. Their adventures have led them to become impressive outdoorsmen, theatrical unicyclists and beautiful musicians of many instruments. They develop these skills in an unconventional outdoor classroom. The earth is their school. Although they do make time for standard education at home, they develop far greater skills and more impressive qualities through their incredible endeavors.

Because the farm is focused on teaching and learning, many different individuals and groups have come and gone through the years. The family generously shares their wisdom and their humble home with anyone willing to believe in the magic of the earth. I remember sitting in the cabin having conversations with the boys, more intellectual than many students I interact with on my own campus. I have watched first-hand as Landrum thoroughly explains each integral process and piece of a working grey-water system. I have seen the love and respect Aydan treats each animal with as he wakes up at sunrise to care for them. The boys are wise beyond their years, and yet they still play a competitive game of capture the flag and can hula-hoop until they’re dizzy with laughter.

As they grow and climb, run and explore, these boys are surrounded by, and are very aware of the endless beauty this earth holds. Their mothers, family, friends and neighbors provide them with an inspiring support system that allows them to flourish and chase their dreams. During my time on the farm, it took only a week for me to see what a magical childhood these two have. They support each other and laugh and play together while they take this crazy life head on. They’re hungry for knowledge and you can see the light in their eyes and in their hearts.

Landrum and Aydan have set their sights on a new adventure at a summer camp in California. Camp Woolman, founded on Quaker principles, is the perfect fit for these young men to continue to learn and grow. I could not think of two more deserving young people to embark on this exciting new experience. My hope for these boys, and all of today’s children, is that they are able to continue through this life together, discovering what their world has to offer and creating their unique light.

If you feel inclined to learn more about Woodland Harvest Mountain Farm, Aydan and Landrum and their journey, and/or Camp Woolman please see the below links.

Woodland Harvest Mountain Farm

Amazing Boys: Learn, Love, & Grow

Brothers Amazing Healing Journey

Camp Woolman

Cover Image Credit: Woodland Harvest Mountain Farm

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Home Invader Suspected of Cleaning Up

In May 2019, a Massachusetts man is shocked to discover someone had broken into his house. But instead of stealing anything, they tidied up for him.

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Imagine coming home after a longs days work to discover your door unlocked. This alone doesn't cause for immediate panic because often it's hard to remember if you even locked it that morning. As you warily enter the house, you are relieved to see your TV is still on the wall, and the computer is still sitting on your desk. When you take another step in, however, you start to feel this uneasy feeling, like someone had been in your house while you were gone.

You notice a smell of cleaning products in the air that you don't remember being there that morning, and to your shock, you see the bedroom door you always leave open, closed. Now is the time to panic. You search the house, calling out for the perpetrator to show themselves. Your children's rooms are immaculate: vacuumed, with clothes folded and beds made, and toilets scrubbed.

Someone has definitely been in your home for hours, pillaging through your intimate belongings, only they hadn't taken anything. The only thing they leave behind is eerie toilet paper origami roses, a staple of the US prison system.

Nate Roman's Facebook

Although this sounds like a funny sketch from a comedy show, this actually happened to Massachusetts man Nate Roman this May. Roman says in an interview with New York Post: "Growing up in the age we do, my first thought was a serial killer. My next thought was wondering if my son was safe, worrying if someone was still in the house."

Despite the ridiculousness of the crime, it is still a crime. The act of intruding upon someones home not to steal, but to acquaint oneself with the environment is almost creepier than a robbery. Just the thought of someone possibly getting off by touching your objects and lounging in your furniture is extremely off-putting.

The motive of this cleaning criminal is still unknown and he or she is at large. It's speculated it may have been a mistaken house tidied by a cleaning crew--but that seems less likely than a creep having a go in a home with an unlocked door.

Don't forget to lock your doors at night and when you leave in the morning and watch out for toilet paper roses.

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