Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/content/29/4232629/html/index.php:3) in /home/content/29/4232629/html/wp-content/plugins/wp-super-cache/wp-cache-phase2.php on line 62
Simple Living

Simple Living

Primitive Skills

March 5, 2014

Primitive-Skills Primitive Skills Primitive-Skills Primitive-Skills Primitive-Skills Primitive-SkillsPrimitive-Skills


Primitive-Skills Primitive-Skills Primitive-Skills Primitive-Skills- Primitive-Skills Primitive-Skils

Primitive-Skills Primitive-SkillsWhen my boys came home to homeschool last year, I was very interested in finding them an outdoor environment in which to be involved. I sent that intention pretty clearly into the universe, in the hopes that it would manifest into something tangible. Little did I imagine that just a few short weeks later I would be writing an article for Rhythm of the Home on a woman who had begun a small, cooperative type farm on her property. Rosemary had been an acquaintance for years, but I had never before heard of the work of that she was doing.

The boys now had a place to learn those things that our home environment simply could not do. Rosemary’s farm, in the past year, has become a second home. The boys attend farm school there once a week, and have recently begun a full homeschooling class with new lessons each month on such things as chicken husbandry, horse maintenance, and learning about a larger garden than our side yard can handle. It is an opportunity to give them skills and knowledge that is being lost in our world today, and also to be able to do so in an environment with a teacher besides myself. Both of those things are very needed.

This past weekend, Rosemary hosted a special class on primitive fire making skills. Using both a bow drill, and flint, the boys had a unique opportunity to learn from two men who have been crafting this lost art for many years. Rico and Alex took three hours to sit with a small group of children, patiently guiding them through the basics of beginning a fire with these tools. I believe that the event was made even more magical by the 12 degree temps and freshly fallen snow that reminded the kids that fire is a very useful tool when it is cold and wet.

Did the idea of, “We have matches now, is this necessary?” cross my mind? Of course. Looking to the past for new skills is not about shunning the technology of today, although it is often referred to as just that. Rather it is a way to connect ourselves and our children to the process of something, and to the world in which they live. Learning this skill teaches them so much about how fire can be created, and the science behind that is awesome. It also connects them to their own hands, and the ability to create like very little else. There is a need to remind our children that they have the tools necessary to survive on very little. That knowledge can’t afford to be lost, no matter how far technology comes.

About half way through the first hour of the class, I looked at the teachers and said, “My kids are going to start building fires in the backyard, aren’t they?” That is exactly what has happened. Bows and flint, wood and rain are all being tackled with a little bit of success, and a lot of heart. It is not an easy skill to learn, but they are keeping with it, and they are more than a little excited at the year’s first camping trip to show off what they have learned.

Primitive skills might not be something that we use everyday, but they are incredible learning tools for adults and kids alike.

To learn more, you can check out this wonderful set of videos from You Tube, and Rico’s blog (Check out these incredible hand carved bowls and spoons as well!) 





February 18, 2014

Blowing Running

Relaxation DSC_7794-copy Walking-together Snowball-fight Snowball Eating-Avocadoes Eating Grey On-the-bridgeOh my, I am becoming the random blog writer, aren’t I? These past two weeks have been spent recovering from back-to-back surgeries, and I have to admit that the healing process was much rougher than I thought that it would be. For once, I let myself rest. There really was no other choice, as my body seemed different this time than in the past.

Healing is one of the most important processes that we can go through, both emotional and physical, and yet we are so often encouraged to get back up, get back in the saddle, get moving on with life. Stepping away from things, and giving our bodies a true chance to heal is almost seen as an indulgence, or a sign of weakness. I find that to be so odd, as healing is a part of living a long and fulfilled life, developing strength, and ensuring vitality, and yet I have certainly always had a very rough relationship with the healing process. Taking time for myself, and oh my asking for help are things that I have needed to work on for a long time.

The past year has taught me a lot about healing. It has been 11 months since I went into pre-term labor with Emma Jeanne, and was put on bed rest. It has been 7 months since her cesarean, and now this final process of healing a body a little banged up has begun. In caring for someone else, I have been reminded about caring for myself. Taking it slow, guarding what I feel I want to do with my time, choosing to eat, rest, and live in a way that built my body up, rather than continue the patterns of ill health that I truly feel are out there in our day to day world. Life has been so different this past year than in any other in my mothering years, and although I am honestly looking forward to getting back to a more active life with my kids, I feel nothing but gratitude for learning and embracing healing ways.

I was reading an article today that suggested that children who get even a lack of one hour of sleep a night can, overtime, digress one to two developmental years behind their peers who are sleeping an adequate amount. That is is astounding. If we take just that one fact, that one statistic, we know how important the idea of rest and well being can be. The body simply can not heal without our help. There are many that say that life is just too busy, there are too many things that need to be done, accomplished, etc. for healing to be a priority. I believe that there are always ways to step back, scale down, and live simpler that allow us to take the time that we need to heal. Rest and healing do not have to mean a total retreat from the world (although some times that it is just plain necessary), but more a mind set that we will do what it takes to allow our body and our mind to recover from whatever life event we are facing. Learning to come home from work, or from school, or from wherever our life has taken us and sit quietly, take a bath, and rest is possible. Saying no to ourselves or our children being involved in every life activity is possible. Creating a home environment where rest is encouraged, where taking a walk and letting the fresh air guide us is possible. Healing takes an embracing attitude, and the knowledge that each of us knows how to heal ourselves, we just have to agree to do so.

I am hoping that in seeing the way that I have protected my body and embraced rest, that my children will remember the importance of healing as well. It feels weird to say that it takes practice to create a healing mindset, but it does. Healing is a practice, and learning to look at our lifestyle, our food, our time management as a source of healing is as much a skill as learning to knit or fix a computer. I assume that these are skills that we will continue to cultivate and strengthen, but this year has been a good starting place.