Last summer, I collaged the little notebook above to record my intentions and goals for the boys and me. ‘Fly’ is not a word that usually resonates with me, but for some reason it jumped out and made me claim it. I’m so glad I did, as it resulted in giving us our most formal year ever, yet paradoxically, one in which I’ve felt the most creative freedom. Getting to this place was not easy, and this year has been one long lesson in letting go and struggling to fly. Recently, I came across this little gem of a sentence: “The basic prerequisite of flight is the feathered wing: light, strong and flexible . . . ” Yes! If I could summarize the core of my inner work this past year, it would be to cultivate lightness, strength and flexibility.
Unfortunately this process was neither pretty nor effortless nor linear. First and foremost, I had to acknowledge and release all that was weighing me down in regard to homeschooling with Waldorf inspired methods. Some of this was old personal stuff, some of it was advice and impressions I received when I first came to Waldorf, and some of it had absolutely nothing to do with me, but rather was the echo of other people’s voices inside my own head. Once I could look at all this stuff, I realized I had created an absolute (and unattainable!) ideal in my head of what homeschooling with Waldorf should look like. If I could make myself stay in this uncomfortable place a bit longer, I also realized such an ideal was paralyzing me and prohibiting me from engaging with what was actually unfolding right in front of me. To fall back on cliché, I was letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.
I walked miles and miles around the hay fields of my house, replaying in my mind the countless ways this ideal was holding me back. I sat for hours and hours on my back porch, staring at the cows on the hillside, convincing myself things could look a lot different if I could just shift my thinking and simply delight in what is. Finally, finally, I noticed a change. My heart was lighter. My resolve was stronger. And my thoughts were much more flexible. There is no way I could have done this alone. Consulting with Jean Miller in February, seeing Rainbow Rosenbloom in March, being in session with my spiritual director every month and last, but definitely not least, talking to Andrea every day helped me to look at all this crap and get passed it. I also want to thank you (yes, you) for showing up and being witness to my efforts to expand the idea of what Waldorf homeschooling can look like. Your comments, your support and your friendship have made this a journey of true companionship. Thank you.
This post got a little unwieldy, so expect my thoughts on rhythm, curriculum, art, etc. tomorrow. Click the images below if you want to read what Year 1 and Year 2 looked liked.