I was recently remembering one of our wonderful trips to the Toronto Zoo.
I’ve never been much of an ‘animal person’. I’m not into pets, I don’t want to hear stories about your dog, and even as a child I preferred to read stories about people rather than animals. I was a Little House fan, not a Flipper fan.
But there is something about seeing the world through the eyes of my children and about having such a close and intimate relationship with them and about wanting to be really real for them and about the amazing journey into self-awareness that I’ve been on. There is something about ALL THAT that makes the zoo my new favourite place and that makes the Amur Tiger my favourite animal.
The Amur Tiger was pacing along his fence while we there. He walked 25 meters this way and then 25 meters that way and we were just about 2 meters from him and we could hear him breathing. We paced back and forth with him. Once. Twice. Three times. We were practically the only people at the zoo that day and we had lots of time. Four times. Five times. The tiger turned to look at us. My breathe caught as he made eye contact with me for a split second before he continued pacing.
Anna and Holly ran off to see the red panda while Julian and Jasmine waved good-bye to the tiger. When I caught up with the older girls, Anna asked, “Mom, why do you love the Amur Tiger so much?”
It was a question with all the weight of the Universe on it.
Because it’s made of the same stuff we are, Anna. Because it is hair and skin and blood and bones and so are we. Because it depends on the sun to grow the plants that produce the oxygen that it breathes, just like us. Because the tiger depends on the plants to feed the animals that it eats. Because the Light of the sun lives in the tiger, just like it lives in us. We’re made of the same stuff, Anna. You. Me. The Tiger. We’re all just Light and Life.
I sometimes feel a little crazy, the way being with my children makes me want to be a better person in every way and the way my children have awakened in me a soul-quenching thirst for knowledge and power and understanding. My brain and my heart and my soul are fused together in this crazy job called MOTHERHOOD and sometimes I don’t know which one is really ruling the roost. The mountains of joy and the valleys of sorrow are so connected that I don’t always know whether I’m low or high or just plain breathless with the wonder of it all.
It’s hard to explain how this unschooling journey has affected me and changed how I view life. I think it saved me. It’s not about education anymore. It’s about LIVING.
How about you? Has unschooling changed your perspective?