Today we had a chance to Skype with our youngest, Becca, from India! She is on a 4 month study journey and we haven't talked to her really since she left on Jan 2. As you can imagine, it was amazing to hear her stories and to actually 'see' her - technology is SO great!
She had some funny stories like renting a bike with friends on a busy India street and remembering that she really hasn't done a lot of biking in her life - our kids, in spite of our best attempts, are not really bikers. She talked about being at an organic farm and learning that human waste is the best fertilizer ever. She also talked about harvesting Vanilla beans - quite a process!
What struck me the most were two experiences she described in detail. The first was their visit yesterday to a sari making silk factory. She described the process of getting the silk from the cocoons of the silk worms. Done well a single cocoon yields about 800m of silk! I find that an amazing lesson in potential. Who really knows what is inside all of us and what the possibilities are. Getting to those possibilities requires both curiosity and creativity - lessons from the second experience....
The second scenario resonates deeply because of my love of learning and education. The professor, Gard, who is from Guelph and coordinating this 4 month trip is also teaching them a Natural History Course. He talked to the class about curiosity and how over time in school, students seem to loose the ability to really look at the world around them, to notice creativity. Then he sent them outside to study red weaver ants for an hour... they needed to make notes, watch them, some (including our daughter) even licked them. Becca talked about the amazing things you could see ants do if you just stayed still for a while - building, working together, even eating one of their own after she squished it! This whole trip is full immersion curiosity and learning...and moments of creativity too.
It makes me wonder what we can and need to do in our busy lives to bring back some curiosity and creativity? Perhaps, in making space for these qualities, some new potential we have no idea existed before, may emerge?? Often though, getting to that place of curiosity, takes us out of our comfort zone and that can feel unpleasant. Becca is modelling for me such welcoming of this idea, being curious and stepping out; and then demonstrating the incredible 'magic' that emerges from there.