Thursday, September 09, 2010


It was a few years ago now that I first heard someone use the term earth school. It happened to be Anne Lamott. I remember really liking her little reference to it but she didn't expand upon it and I never spent any time specifically thinking about it. Well, somehow without me really even being aware of what was happening I began to awaken to what I see as earth school and the profound lessons to be learned there every moment of everyday. The learning is of a completely different nature than what we have all become so familiar with in regards to the realm of academics and instruction created by Man. What we have learned there in that unnatural environment is really of very little help to us at all in Earth School. Most often it is one of the things standing in the way.


Ashley A said...

Last week I was at my wits end trying to keep up with homeschooling, working from home, and preparing healthy meals (corn free, dairy free, and sugar free no less) all while keeping the house tidy. I was about to snap so I packed the kids in the car and set out for a park.

My original plan was to find a playground where other children were playing so my children wouldn't require me to be their playmate (those tube slides make my hair staticy, ya know). :D Once we started driving though, I felt compelled to go to the state park.

I don't usually venture out to the state park without a bunch of gear but on this particular day I just didn't care.

We arrived at the park delighted to find the water still warm enough for swimming. Too bad none of us had brought bathing suits. No matter; the children were content to swim in their clothes and the picnic blanket we keep in the car served as a decent enough beach towel.

What was really spectacular about the day though was the sense of peace I gained immersed in nature. For a few hours I managed to catch a glimpse of how much simpler life can really be.

As my children and I walked along the beach and explored, the learning that was happening with very little involvement on my part was rather impressive. What's more is that I spotted several wild edible plants interspersed with the vegetation growing along the shore. I knew that with just a hook and some fishing line, I could catch us a lovely bass that I could combine with the wild plants to create a very healthy corn-free, dairy-free, sugar-free meal.

I see very clearly where my life and the lives of most people I know have become needlessly over complicated. That's what I'm learning in my earth school. I'm hoping soon that I can learn how to cut ties with all the obligations in my life that need not exist.

(I'm embarrassed that my comment got so long! Sorry about that, Kent!)

Kent said...

please don't be embarrassed...I'm sitting here now with a big joyful grin on my face after reading that.