We all learn from children, but wisdom I received from an 8 year old gave me reason to think about my own behaviour.
Yesterday I had to change the plans for my weekly Bee Safari at The Newt. The high winds making walks through the woodland dangerous.
Instead my group joined me in the Glass house and I spoke about why the Bees at The Newt are different, what kind of hives we use and where they’re located. The life cycle of bees and general interesting facts about bees were also shared.
Inevitably the question of ‘what happens when the bees die’ came up.
Young inquisitive boys
Part of the group included some extremely well behaved 8-10 year old boys. They were quite energetic when I saw them waiting for the safari to begin, so I did wonder how sitting in a Glass house would work with them. They only made up half of the group so finding a balance during my talk to educate and entertain such a diverse and large group was a challenge.
Thankfully the young boys were extremely well behaved and surprisingly interested and engaged. Frequently asking carefully thought out questions, now all with simple answers.
When discussing what happens if/ when the bees die, my answer is usually, ‘well we can’t let that happen’. I also believe, and often say, that what is killing off the bees is also killing off the humans, so we REALLY need to save them, if we want to save ourselves.
“….. actually what we all really need to do is move to another planet.”
One wise young soul wasn’t satisfied with this as an answer. His questioning got deeper and more thought provoking, resulting in him declaring that actually what we all really need to do is move to another planet. Wisdom from an 8 year old is simple and clear cut.
I surprised even myself with my response. The funny thing is that what I said worked for him, but also made me look closer at my own actions and behaviour. I realised that I also needed to re consider the ‘moving to a new planet’ idea.
“….moving to another planet is like having a really untidy bedroom and deciding to move house, or bedroom to start again”.
I responded by saying that moving to another planet is like having a really untidy bedroom and deciding to move house, or bedroom to start again.
The thought of tidying up can become so overwhelming that a clean slate seems like the only answer.
He was impressed with my response and obviously it resonated with him. A large scale ‘solution’ brought into a closer perspective.
The reason I am even writing about this is that actually my response was my inner wisdom giving ME the message.
My office is a mess. I have many projects on the go, and I tell myself my creative brain is happy to work in this way. I do know where everything is, but my many hundreds of books and research papers are in piles that make it difficult for anyone to help me.
Lego and airfix
Admittedly my office has evolved from a small room that was originally one of my son’s bedrooms. My storage boxes include lego, airfix, pens and pencils, childhood drawings, plus my collection of fabrics and sewing books and patterns for my ‘days off’.
I have been planning to move to a larger office but yesterdays 8 yr old challenger has really got me to thinking.
“…The thought of tidying up can become so overwhelming that a clean slate seems like the only answer.”
Why do I find it so hard to de clutter?
Our recent trip to Christmas and Cocos Keeling islands also had me thinking about rubbish and where things go when we throw them ‘away’. I have more to say about all that in another post, however I realise that my main block is my awareness that there is no such place as ‘away’. So decluttering for me becomes a huge emotional task.
Emptying a box of mixed bits of toys means putting them into landfill. The bits and bobs of felt tip pens, pencils etc are not ‘good enough’ for the charity shops, so where will they go? All my magazines and journals, correspondence ‘useful jars’, where can they go when no longer useful?
I can’t bare this thought process, so instead I soldier on ( amongst all the toy soldiers) dreaming of a space big enough with adequate storage to organise all the ‘stuff’ I have accumulated over the years.
I don’t have an answer yet for this, however I do now realise where my problem lies, and so I need to address it.
It’s great to receive wisdom from an 8 year old!
Does anyone else have the same problem, or can give me tips on reconciling what to do with no longer wanted things?
Paula is the author of two Bee books, ‘Artist to Bees’ and ‘A quest for Bees in Bhutan’. Both can be purchased through all good bookshops, or directly from Paula’s webshop