Not All Who Wander Are Lost

IMG_0557              Not all who wander are lost.

I really love this phrase. It speaks to me and gets to the heart of how I feel sometimes. It means to me… Not all who make mistakes are failures, not all who get an F are stupid, not all who are fat are unhealthy, not all who are grumpy are mean spirited, not all who are airheads are thoughtless, not all who do weird things are crazy.

I have been “wandering” a lot lately concerning homeschooling. Actually since I have been homeschooling I have been wandering. And if truth be told, I have been wandering forever. Is this best for children? To have a mother who is a wanderer, especially a mother who is responsible for their education? It’s a valid question. But the way I can rationalize through this is to say that I am not one who believes that what I see initially is always the way things are going to be. I continue to observe, wander, if you will and analyze and try to dissect the personalities and learning styles and preferences of my family. We just got a new math curriculum at the beginning of May, this is just about as ridiculous as it gets. But I knew we were just hamsters on the math wheel and something had to change. So I thought a bit outside the box and I uncovered something wonderful. New curriculum changes everything, even in May and maybe in November, January and April, I will let you know. I even sent one kid to take a break at the “school table” and she actually opened her book and did a page of math. So sometimes wandering pays off.

I read two articles today about food, one about gluten and one about farming. Both were great examples to me of how we are doing a lot of wandering, as a society and as individuals, trying to find our way. The Farm-to-Table movement hasn’t actually helped the local farmers nearly as much as it’s supposed to have done, maybe because we haven’t quite figured how to really use the concept yet. Maybe because we just really want things to be easy. Big, industrial farms are still growing and small, local farms are still struggling. There is a real complexity to farming that a lot of us don’t quite understand, to do it well there is a lot of knowledge and intuition needed. The farmers who do it well are Dr.’s of the earth (I am NOT a dr. of the earth, the only thing really growing in my garden are peas and some plants in the squash family, we don’t even remember what).

The other article was about the relevance of the “gluten free fad”. Media does a great job of getting such hype going and then throwing all of us followers under the bus when the fads’ time has past. Obviously I believe wholeheartedly in the reality of gluten intolerance. We live with Celiac disease, but this area is changing so much so quickly that it’s important to understand what’s going on, I wouldn’t listen to any of the media ridiculousness though. Gluten free has been a go-to diet for awhile for many reasons, but we kind of know now that there isn’t a one-size-fits all…in any area of life!? You may need wander a bit more to figure it out for yourself.

Doing some wandering in our lives to find our way has got to be ok. Even if it looks careless and impulsive or flighty or unrealistic. I am giving myself a pep-talk as much as anything else. I am not lost, we are not lost, we are seekers of meaning and wholeness. In our families and our communities.

See, I added in some homeschooling, farming, gluten free living and warm fuzzy all in less than 600 words.

oops 650 words

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