I read the book ‘Noah’s Children’ by Sara Stein some time ago, and posted extracts of it to my blog ‘Old School Garden’. You possibly know that I’m interested in how we can improve the opportunities for a more ‘natural’ outdoor play experience in our increasingly urbanised, consumerised and technology- dominated world.
I found Stein’s book a stimulating read, which examines a variety of reasons why children in general these days have less opportunity to engage with the natural world in ways that nurture a responsible and intimate relationship with it (as well as raising wider child development issues), so I thought over the next few weeks I’d feature a few extracts. In the first, Stein sets out the basis of the book:
‘Land is nourished or not by humans; humans are nourished or not by land. Place and occupant only seem seprable because we have created such a distance between liveliness and livelihood. In creating that distance, we have unwittingly detached the nature of childhood from the sense it ought to make. Childish curiosity is to make connections, to realize the larger picture, to become able in the physical environment our lives depend on. We’ve removed the red from the fruit, the fruit from the tree, the tree from the wood, the wood from all the things a child might make of it, and so left fragments much harder to connect than laces on a shoe.’
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and the wider issues raised…