Remember how you used to disappear after breakfast in summertime, on your bike or skates, or walking/running to a friend’s house, to a nearby wild stream, to an “empty lot,” to the back woods? And not come home until supper, or dark? Or, if you were “at home,” you’d be in the back yard, lying on your back, enthralled by the infinite blue sky or the starry night? Or up in the willow tree, unnoticed, sheltered by Her? Or with your face in the roses, swooning? (Roses were real, back then.)
Remember how your Mom encouraged you to get outside, and stay there?
Come September, for me it was always a struggle to fit my feet into shoes again, and straight row desks, and “getting it right or wrong.”
When did middle-class children’s lives begin to constrict? Possibly when moms started to go to work so that the family’s “standard of living” could improve. I.e., move into bigger houses and buy more stuff. Meanwhile, “latch-key” children were herded into after-school “programs.” And summertime? Well, not sure when, but fear porn programming began to insidiously infiltrate our communities with “amber alerts.” Not only were kids not to walk by themselves to school, but not to go outside without supervision.
However, it does appear that the day of the wild child is returning, hopefully just in time to pull children off their infernal devices.
Here in Bloomington, we have the Wild Nature Project — A Midwest source for Nature, Animal Tracking, Medicinal Plants, Youth Programs, Teen Camps,
Wilderness Survival Skills, Leadership — which immerses children in nature so that they may remember their natural, resilient, regenerative selves.
Here’s one of Wild Nature Project videos, where “nature is our classroom.”