I had this dream of moving away somewhere remote. Where we could roam through the countryside. To have a wild patch of land on our doorstep which we would get to know like the back of our hand. I dreamt of moving to Wales or Scotland, so we could be surrounded by green and hills and trees. So that the children would be able to roam.
I also dreamt of taking the children out of school. Of turning our backs on the constant need to fit a particular mould. To conform and to fit in. To create an environment that prioritises creativity and exploration and joy. I imagined the children relaxed and smiling, rather than withdrawn and anxious.
I know I live in a dream world. I’m too keen to shield my kids from disappointment and pressure. I know they have to figure this stuff out for themselves.
But I’ve had a glimpse of what it could be like. It turns out we have the countryside right on our doorstep, in our back pocket and we didn’t even notice. We’ve walked the paths into the hills almost every day. It was all right here all along. Not in Wales, not in Scotland, right behind our house.
And I’ve had a glimpse of the children free from the structure of school. Smiling more. Seeking out learning in their own way. I’m 100% sure that if I asked them, they would want to go right back as soon as they could. And in many ways that would make my life a whole lot easier.
Or would it? Only if I went back to working exactly how I had been before. Running from class to class. I may be calmer than I used to be (you might have read my blog post from chaos to calm), but I still have a tendency to fill my time. To hustle. If I can take anything away from this crisis it will be to notice how we are benefiting from this pause and see how much of that I can guard and hold onto as we begin the transition out of lockdown.
Frances Robertson-Ritchie, Yoga teacher and hypnotherapist