Seward Johnson, The Awakening, ©1981

The Awakening

D&R Greenway St. Michaels Farm Preserve
Route 569 / Hopewell Princeton Road
Hopewell, NJ

Introduction:  Observe The Awakening from a distance. Come closer. If you are able to circumnavigate the entire piece, pause when you feel like you have found your favorite view. Come closer still. Where is your attention drawn? Notice your breath. Has it changed?

Draw:  Sketch one small detail of the scupture. If you feel inspired, explore what it looks likes under the scupture’s head. What is the texture? Who lives here? Sketch a world below. Your sketch can be as wild and imaginative as you’d like.

Move:  You are standing on preserved land, making this a safe home for native plants and animals including cat bird, box turtle red fox, meadow voles, and the brown thrasher. Tread joyously and lightly. Teach yourself the fox trot for the red fox or box step for the box turtle. If you re able, dig your heels into the wood chips, let your knees soften, wiggle your toes, visualize roots extending downward through your feet.

Write:  Write an origin story of the figure emerging from the ground. Begin with the line, “I awoke…”


  • This land has had many lives. It has always been part of Lenapehoking, the lands of the Lenni Lenape people. It also lived for many years as part of the St. Michael’s Orphanage, and now it is part of D&R Greenway.
  • The Lenni Lenape lived in the Hopewell area for at least 9,000 years. When you have a chance, make an appointment to visit the Hopewell Museum collection with over 2000 Indian artifacts.
  • The St. Michael’s Orphanage + Industrial School was in operation from 1896 to 1973. The D&R Greenway purchased the land through a public/private partnership.  Now the land is preserved forever!
  • An onrithologist has been inventorying birds on the preserve and has identified almost a hundred speces. Click to learn even more!