Are you in Greeley, CO? Take the street southwest past Glenmere Park and there’s a sign for a wildlife sanctuary. It is the coolest little forest walk in the middle of our city- a hidden gem. If you take the path into those woods you’ll find our hanging jars there.
This has been one of our favorite January traditions. As a family we hike out to a wooded area and leave 5 hanging jars.
The jars are “writing-prompts” with the words Hopes, Dreams, Fears, Secrets, and Prayers written on them. We leave them in the woods about a week then pick them back up. It’s an honor to read the journalistic writings- seeing glimpses into peoples dreams and struggles.
The hope is that we’d make an adventure out of introspection in this season of resolution! It’s our way of taking on January and the new year.
This adventure is completely re-creatable for your community. Here’s the directions:
5 mason jars
You are invited into a polar expedition. This adventure is, as always, to be tailored to your story and we are merely providing suggestions and framework for goodness to happen. Make changes as needed and be creative.
Sometime this month find a wooded area that is traversed by people, even in winter. It should be hidden enough to be an enjoyable destination, yet frequented enough to be quite public.
Create your jars: Write the following words on the 5 tags- Hopes, Dreams, Fears, Secrets, Prayers. Then put the tags in the jars so they’re easily seen. And leave scrap paper and golf pencils in each jar. Lastly, leave quotes and your own thoughts in the jars as well, as a catalyst.
Bundle up and head out into the cold. Bring a friend. Or family. Enjoy the sense of purpose that comes with loving people by providing them anonymous reflection space.
Hang your jars together in a place that can be seen from a path- not too hidden but not too obvious. It should feel as if they’ve stumbled onto something special. And they have.
Leave the jars there. Invite your friends and connections on Facebook and other media channels. Everyone loves and deserves an adventure.
Collect your jars after 5-7 days. If you leave the brittle glass out too long they’re subject to breaking.
Take some time and treasure the connections and thoughts left there. Whether poetic musings, crude vandalism or plain honesty, it all speaks to our humanity.
Keep the jars somewhere they can catch the light this month. Be reminded of hopes, dreams, fears and everything that comes with great beginnings.