I finished my last blog post with these questions:
But, what of the children? Do they know how uniquely special they are? Do they know that the most complex thinking machine in the knowable universe is theirs to nurture and develop with a thousand ‘Whys’?
I have long known the answers to them, but the last few days at Freerange epitomize the answers.
Some of our members are shy, some are extrovert and so one would expect our morning group meeting to be dominated by the few, but it is always rewarding to see how the shy ones are given an equal hearing to those who can’t wait to tell us their news. There’s a respect for how each one of us is ‘uniquely special’.
The questions never cease to amaze me.
Today little Mia quietly asked the most profound question: ‘Who was the first person who ever lived and who was the first to ever die?’ She was not satisfied with the Youtube explanation, and so came to me for some clarification. I think the important thing about the ensuing, wide-ranging, conversation was that some things are unknown and will probably remain unknown until Mia grows up and is the scientist who becomes famous because she was the first person to figure out the answer!
Mary and Lucas each had rocks that they wanted identified. Other days it has been spiders, frogs or beetles. Each time a small layer of new knowledge is added to the accumulation. Children often ask me how come I know so much. My answer is always, truthfully, “Like you, I have asked a lot of questions and in 70 years that is a LOT of questions.”
Imagine my surprise when Linda and Trevor, closely followed by Nick, came bouncing into my room to announce that they had learned how to pick-pocket. Letting minds range free is what we are about. From pick-pocketing techniques (distract and grab v slowly carefully) to store security, to the relative merits of the major chain stores, to pre-prepared meals to veganism v vegetarian v omnivorous.
To see Linda completely unfased by a globby mass of SCOBY, whilst running a joint tutorial with Lourina, on the merits of kombucha was a revelation.
Raymond and Lloyd learning guitar together; members crowded around Deidre, our visitor from Joburg, learning about photography (after an energetic session of Poi). Yolandi and others throwing themselves whole heartedly into gumboot dancing.
There is a group, including most of the ‘littlies’, playing with numbers and sounds. Spontaneously learning to read, rite and rithmetic.
And so it goes.
And always the questions.
And if you want an entertaining take on what is going on in the world, just ask Myla.