Monday, February 21, 2011

The Natural Person

*This was written awhile back, but it is still timely...

The Natural Person
After years of rushing about, I finally have some time to reflect and I have some odd realizations. As a young woman, I felt a strong urge to see what would happen if one placed children in a natural setting and allowed them to evolve on their own terms. I had seven in a row, and the results were astounding.

I took everyone out of school when the oldest were in fourth grade. The system was far too stifling for active minds and I felt they needed room to expand. This singular act changed the course of their lives in a most unconventional way. They were insulated from the negative impact of peer groups, religion, and society in general. From this isolation they formed a close bond with each other and nature; they became connected in a natural way and had no need to unlearn the lessons which bind and impact formation of a positive person.

When they were children, each time we welcomed a new arrival I told them I was having a baby for they would have friends that loved them their whole lives. Each addition was welcomed and the current baby and other little children were drug around by older siblings with ultimate patience. Every day was met with unbridled enthusiasm because there was little structure and few demands; our creek and forest were their playground. We rang the 'dinner bell' and gathered three times a day for our meals, which were always taken together.

Reading was encouraged and they spent many hours pouring over the contents of our library; we have 5,000 books on any subject you would wish to study. We studied ecology by checking the creek for healthy plants and crawdads. We learned fractions by cooking, geometry by playing pool. We studied medieval history and made a walnut catapult, entirely pegged and workable. Swords were hammered, cloaks created, and horses were ridden bareback at break neck speeds while playing Three Musketeers or Robin Hood, or tag.

We sat in the topmost field and 'centered ourselves' to see if we could send the imaginary silver cord from the base of our spine to the center of the earth to bring the light of healing energy upward… and Andrew, at only five, could. We learned charity by taking baskets of food we had grown to those who were hungry, we hung prayer ribbons from the trees, raised abandoned baby animals and released them. We opened our door to starving artists, traveling minstrels, occasionally to down-and-out cowboys and Indians. We attended Native American Pow-Wows and even the secretive Sun Dance as invited guests.

Once, as an experiment, we decided to see how everyone would survive if something drastic happened and there was no shelter or electricity available. They created livable sod houses and built a dam on the creek. They believed that painting the window sills anti-voodoo blue would keep ill will away and that Nordic symbols on the gate will not allow evil to enter.

They could see spirits and thought that everyone could. They believed the elements are alive, and that every living thing has a soul. They pray to the angels for protection and instinctively placed food in the grave of the deceased so they may ‘eat on the other side‘.

These beliefs are ingrained in them by choice, not indoctrination, so I think they are fairly pure. Point being, when you allow the person to evolve naturally, they will find the ancient ways all by themselves, without coaching. The past holds the future and if left unimpeded, the natural person will emerge in surprising ways.

*With leaving home and the discovery of various peer pressures, they lost their way for a bit. Happily, they have found it again.... it wasn't lost at all~


  1. Catherine....we were blessed the day you entered our family. You and Michael have always held a special place in my heart as you did in my mothers. Sometimes the unconventional is actually what takes us back to that which we truly need. You have obviously raised some pretty awesome kids. I love looking at their pictures and always seeing them as adults hanging together and remaining so close. That is an amazing feat and one which you should be extremely proud of. What a wonderful legacy that you are leaving your children. What an amazing woman you are.

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  3. Thank you sweetheart; it was a pretty grande experiment! You and your Mom welcomed me so well and it was always great to see your family.