Hello! I’m Jane Valencia, harper and storyteller, magical naturalist, author-illustrator, and a mentor of nature-based culture.
I have been helping families share magic together since 1988–when I began performing and teaching harp. In time I became a 21st century bard, bringing in story, lore, and poetry into my harp performances to nourish a love of the wondrous all around us. You can read more about my musical background in my bio . Through the years I have co-created learning experiences and festivals for kids and families, often sourced from the lore, music, and wisdom encoded in the turning of the year.
In 2001 I discovered the deep nature connection work of naturalist and cultural repair visionary, Jon Young. Since then I’ve immersed myself in nature connection practices, and cross-cultural methods of renewing and strengthening community that go back to the roots of our human beginnings. I have applied these methods and perceptions to every aspect of my life and work — from work with groups and organizations to my own community and family –as they are true magic indeed, having everything to do with tending joyful connection in families and with community, the natural world, and oneself.
When I was a child I wanted nothing more than to live a life of real magic. But, truly, our life is full of magic that is quite real indeed! Noticing where healthy culture is alive and well in one’s own family life and in the surrounding community and knowing how to strengthen those threads as needed, noticing what makes one feel fulfilled and alive, making music together and storytelling, engaging in imaginative play, sharing nature adventure, and so much more are all opportunities for us to experience the wonder that always surrounds us. Feeling ourselves at home and in the magic of life is what makes us real.
FoxTales is a blog written by me, but you may also hear from foxes, kids, chickens, teapots, and other unusual and mythic creatures that appear in books I’ve written or in stories I tell. We’ll give you tips about how you and your family may perceive your world in new ways, and how to feed the fire that is the everyday extraordinary in your family’s life. If you’re interested in playing the harp, telling stories, and offering other creative magic (or maybe you offer this kind of enchantment already), or interested in the green and giving world of the plants and trees, you’ll find ideas that will nourish you and further root your art and life as well.
May your family be inspired to discover, deepen, and create new and renewed stories of who you each are in this amazing world and who you are when you’re together. May you discover and deepen your own connection with each other and live your very real family magic!
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments, and to let me know how I can be of service to you and your family