We’ve been thinking a lot about home lately as we learn about types of shelters and create models of those dwellings. And as we search for our future farm and grapple with the idea of leaving our home – the only place our littles have known. The other night I listened in as the younger boys brushed their teeth together after a day of being out and about. I smiled at our five year old’s comment on how good it felt to be home, and his brother’s words of agreement.
Our three kiddos who learn at home ooh and ahh in amazement as they watch videos of people crafting dwellings out of natural materials from the forest and earth, of tires and straw. These days, the municipal authorities struggle to find a place for these homes within their codes, but these kids see the wisdom and practicality of it. The cleverness of a home that will return to the earth or that can be carried on your back like some of our smaller friends from nature. My heart is warmed that even if they never have to or desire to, these kiddos will grow up knowing they can build an emergency shelter, a temporary dwelling, or a long-term home that suits their spirit without incurring loads of debt. We don’t talk about the trappings of adult life like mortgages and debt, but they’ve perceived that these methods can be low impact on the earth and the wallet.
In Waldorf education, learning about shelter is said to feed the spirit of the child in grade three – at age nine. It fills them up with the surety that they know how things are made, grown, built – and that they can provide for themselves in this world one day, all while resting in the comfort of being carried and held. Not in our literal arms, but in the warmth and comfort of home, family, and community.