“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” – Jane Austen
Welcome dear ones! And pardon the delay on my part…it turns out that the site I was using to send y’alls newsletters has *somehow* not kept track of everyone’s emails nor format since our last books club 🙁 which has been kind of frustrating for me because I loved that format, and I loved having you all signed up in one place! Alas, we are still reading and moving forward because this book is AMAZING so I am going to post here for now.
I am not sure how far y’all are, but I am rounding the corner in the late 50’s and hope to be early 100’s this weekend. Before jumping into a few reflection questions you can take along to ponder as you read, I feel compelled to say thank you for joining us! I am such a lover of books, but sharing them is the most wonderful way to read I think. It’s kind of like traveling – it’s lovely when alone, but so much lovelier when in the company of others who are just as excited to be there too. Reading is such a integral part of my life, and it’s always been so beautiful and inspirational to me how books build bridges across different communities and cultures. Books connect us, words connect us, and ideas connect us, and I believe that that connection can foster a deeper sense of compassion in our hearts. Because we learn over time that we are all striving towards the same thing: meaningful purpose and true belonging.
Without further adieu, I give you our very first springtime read: How To Raise A Wild Child by Scott D. Sampson. I have been wanting to read this book for quite some time, and am thrilled to hand it in my hands this month. One of the sweet mamas in my Waldorf tribe mentioned she was reading it, and it reminded me that I had it on my bookshelf! And what a delightful way to usher in this new season. This book has awakened some dormant parts of my brain and being, and has totally inspired me to revisit our current rhythm at home to adjust several parts so outdoor time and free play in nature can be a larger part of our day together. I cannot wait to hear how the first part of this book has impacted you thus far!
Reflection Questions for Part I | Pg. 1-145
*We will gather in the middle of the month to share a bit and move onto the second half of the book, which will cover Pg. 146-293
- Journal what has drawn you to this book and what you hope to learn from it. How strong is your and your family’s current connection to the natural world, and where would you like to improve or strengthen it?
- What experiences in nature as a child helped mold and shape who you are now as an adult and mother? Think of specific memories you have like the one Scott mentioned with the tadpoles. I loved that so much and have a few of those in my back pocket as well, sans the tadpoles!
- Why do you think it is that the widespread gap between children and nature has grown so much in the past decade? How then, can we as parents and homemakers, more more intentional choices within the walls of our home and daily life to reflect the values we believe in?
- What are three sentences that rocked you in the first half of this book? I underlined so much and it’s going to be hard for me to narrow them down, but try and choose just three that really shifted your perspective and helped reframe your thoughts about our connection with nature.
- What concepts did you find confusing, challenging, or hard to swallow? I think it’s really important to read all books with a critical eye and not just take everything as certainty.
- What attainable goals can you make for your family that fosters a deeper connection with nature, and in what areas of your current rhythm are you going to try and implement them?
- Practice: Our family loves to hike on the weekends together if the weather permits, and we have a favorite spot here in Kansas City that lets us wander and explore freely. Find an area either in the city or country that gives you a bit of roaming power (a park is wonderful too!), and go there with your family. Take along water and snacks, a bag to pick up litter, and anything else you think you may need for a few uninterrupted hours in Mother Nature, and go wild. Observe how your children connect with nature and encourage them to be curious. Model curiosity as their mother and see where your conversations end up. If you have really young ones or toddler, just watch their eyes widen as they feel at one with the trees and wind. When you return home, journal about your experience together.
I want to also remind you that this book club should never feel like a chore! It should be a life-giving part of your day that you look forward to, and if that means you want to engage with the reflection questions go for it – they will guide our discussion at the end of the month. If not, that’s completely alright as well! I wrote them with the intention to help you do a bit of inner work as a guiding companion to this book, so feel free to answer as many or as little as you’d like. I will post again in the middle of the month with new reflections for the second half of the book, so keep on reading dear ones!