Becoming the gardener

tomato plant sprout


I’ve touched on this before, dear reader. The question of school. Homeschool. Unschool. Gasp! To do something so radical? So counterculture? How I’ve agonized over this heart-wrenching and soul searching decision. A privileged “problem,” I know. I am grateful for the time now to be home with my boys. To have the option to choose to homeschool, which we just finally decided to do.

After giving the small rural school down the road a try for 7 weeks, the ache and longing to have my 5 year old explore in the sun filtering through our forest canopy with my 3 year old and I (instead of being at a school stocked with smart boards and computers, and where he said it was too loud, too busy and they didn’t go outside enough) filled my gut with that you-just-know-you-gotta-do-this motivation. Which at this point may be considered unschooling since we follow our hearts and the flow of each day. While I might get into a discussion about why homeschool another time, I’m moved to share this affirming perspective that says it better than I can right now at the onset of our transition.

A fellow mother of two little boys, and nature connection community member, offered up in a recent homeschooling discussion circle what she feels she needs to prepare her children for in 20 years. And it’s not sitting at a computer in an office. It is how to tend to the earth, to grow food, to embody survival instincts and skills that truly are sustainable and life-giving. Put another way, this book about raising sons quotes author Sam Keen from Fire in the Belly:

Can we be kind, again? Kind has kin in it… being connected, being family to other people, to other species, to all things…. For the first time in the recorded history of mankind, we humans must fit into a natural world as machine-users. For the next hundred years, for our culture to survive, we need a new perception, not just of men, not just of women, but of how we need to be in the “information age.” The hunter archetype is no longer useful. The warrior archetype is no longer useful….

Perhaps the archetype of the technological age must be the gardener — the one who follows the seasons; weathers frightful storms; uses the elements of fire, earth, air, and water; cultivates; sows; weeds; prunes; stakes; and reaps. As mother and fathers we must be clear about our individual responsibilities as the gardeners of our sons. We must be in tune with the seasons of their lives. We must know how to aim the sun’s ferocious light to help them find their inner guidance system of feeling, thinking, and self-direction. We must learn the gentle art of cultivating their souls. We must be explicit and united concerning the ideals and values we sow in their imaginations…. By following the gardener archetype, we can watch our sons take root, flourish, and bloom into their own lives.

To flourish and to bloom. To garden and dig in the dirt. To sow and to reap. To deeply connect to our nature within nature. Wow, yes. This is what I want for my children. Within a community (village) of all ages supporting one another. Does any of this resonate with you? Are you choosing to homeschool, or not, or some other incarnation of living and learning?


Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s