Monday, 13 October 2008

To the woods

Five years ago, looking for like minded people in local reach, I sought out a local home ed group. I found one.

How awful was that experience; how demoralising, how unlikeminded, how it was as if I had plunged into the deep blackness of the night countryside, and found myself a hundred miles from the nearest light, sunk in a ditch. I almost thought the game wasn't worth a candle, such a test of resolve and stamina those lonely months became. Made unsupported, unwelcomed, we made our own friends and investigated the local school.

Then by chance, a drive away, I found a second home-educating town and someone said, open and honest, What problem? Come along! No-one seemed to mind who I was, or much what I thought, did or said; no-one set me up in a spider's trap; they simply said Welcome! and asked Do you want tickets? and Would you like to join us? I left that bad experience and that alien group behind, and went on to enjoy what we did, shrugging my shoulders and waving my hand.

Then, five years on, right on my doorstep, there's a sudden flicker of movement, a sideways step, a vanishing, a welcoming email, some words, and now here's that alien group, reformed, local, all going down to the woods together; the children as kings, queens, artists and engineers.

Just for an instant before we set out to this woodland play, I had the urge not to go, perhaps in case that change was a deception and that it were not so different than before; that it became our Lord of the Flies. Perhaps I feared we couldn't make a safe retreat, and that when I crawled back I did so cursing, washing our wounds and vowing never again.

But I'm glad we went, because all that happened was that we grown ups exchanged understanding nods and quiet words and resolutions that things in the future would be different and the children played at being kings, queens, artists and engineers.

One step at a time. And maybe then we can stay longer, in this unreal world made in the woods, and do our best to make it real.


sharon said...

I do hope the group continues to be more in tune with your needs/wants. It must be much better to have a like-minded set of people close to home. I have my fingers crossed for you all.

xXx-Shirley-xXx said...

I had pretty much the same experience with my first home ed group too - at the time it led me on to form one of my own!