There is an interesting article in Psychology Today about how the children of hunter-gatherer societies are educated. I am sure you can imagine, these children did not get shuffled off to school. The basis of their education was play. Just play, fueled by the day-to-day observations of their elders at work. I love play and I think it is still so important and relevant today. There’s some great research on why play is important for young children. But I wonder, how long could/should we advocate for play as a centerpiece of education? For the hunter-gatherers, play was how they learned until adulthood!
I wrote a while back about my love affair with ancient themes that routinely show up in my sons’ play. I find myself yearning a bit for a simple way of life. Our family together, joined in the same pursuits with a few other families, building and caring for homes and relationships, foraging and hunting, singing and dancing. I know it’s not quite as simple and euphoric as that, and there are many, many aspects of the modern world I would be hard-pressed to give-up, like the way, way, way lower chance of losing one of my babes, and the pleasure of having my parents and grand parents around longer, and I sure do love experiencing the sounds, tastes, sights and feelings of far away places. The list could be enormous. Nonetheless, there are aspects of a hunter-gatherer life I find myself pining for.
I wonder if we hand-picked aspects of life from long ago and life today, just what we could come up with. We’ve had no shortage of conversations with friends and families of such a life. And I guess we’re always kind of striving for that in the undercurrent of our lives. On some deeper level that’s why we seek to surround ourselves in nature every. single. day.
Anyway, as we’ve been out and about in the woods, I’ve been noticing how meaningful it is to my wee folk to forage. We gathered mulberries, wild onions and clover when we were afar. At home we’ve been eating these lately:
The boys enjoy connecting with their surroundings in such a real and meaningful way. So we go about the forest tasting, only what is safe, and only small amounts because really, the food of the forests is for the wild beasts. And we are no longer wild, which is okay, I guess, but I still wonder…