"Then the Lord God formed the man (of) dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living soul."Dust. Dirt. Matter.
Wise words from an ancient peoples, tribes that wrestled with gods almost as imperfect as humans. Our souls were not ephemeral--they were made of matter, dust from the ground, the earth itself.
I obviously cannot (and would not even if I could) rail on about the supernatural in my classroom--but there's plenty to rail about the natural. Science is about the natural world, what we can perceive, and what we can imagine based on what we observe.
You cannot learn about science--it's a mindset, a way of discerning the world, an attempt to make sense of whatever this whatever is. Our minds have a bad habit of wandering around thought to thought, evading the world that might diminish its powers.
The real dirt, the stuff under your feet, the clay that made us--how much do your children know about it?
While Arne and his cronies push the race to the top, fusing the local into a mythical national standard, I push my lambs back home, back to the earth beneath their feet.
Go get dirty.
"He who sees the Infinite in all things sees God. He who sees the Ratio only sees himself only."William Blake
I wanted to get some dirt a couple of days ago to restart my amaryllis. Most of the ground is frozen now, so I dragged in a large planter. I can use the thawed earth for the bulbs.
A few critters will wake up a bit confused, not used to January basements.
Most of the organisms will remain unnoticed by me. A few weeds will start stretching themselves skyward to an imagined sun.
A simple ceramic pot holds a universe too complex for me to grasp. I don't need to grasp it, though--I just plan to borrow it for awhile. When the amaryllis is done flowering, the living earth will be returned to the ground under a July sky.
We get lost in the abstract, in races to the top, in living full lives, in reaching our full potential, in making the big bucks. The more abstract the goal, the more likely you'll walk on concrete to get there. You'll need shoes, good ones. You may need an elevator to get to your office.
The more successful you are, the more layers between you and the dust beneath the city asphalt.
Race to the top? What's the hurry?
I want my children to slow down, to smell loamy earth rich with life, to walk barefoot far from the sidewalk. And should they bleed, as they will, their corpuscles will feed the life beneath their feet.
We'll stroll to the bottom, to the muck, and wallow with the ocean of critters who know nothing more than there is to know.