this morning i walked past our local elementary school and saw some young kids outside on a huge playing field with colored cones set up in rows along both sides. i remembered my friend (with a daughter in kindergarden) mentioning that friday was “field day.” friday was bad weather so i wondered if instead it was today. and then i suddenly had the most vivid memories of field days of my past. days of being outside for the day running, hopping, skipping, and playing games. spending the day in the sun or a light drizzle, drinking water and wearing pennies and occasionally passing through the awkwardness of too long limbs and youthful self-consciousness into the pure joy of moving my body through the world. outside. all day.
it seems like the elementary school age memories that flood back into me with the most ease all happened outside the classroom. i remember the games we played at recess. i remember having gym outside on the grass fields. i remember the once yearly family picnic held in the yard at the center of the c shaped school.
if what i remember the most is being outside; racing, playing tag, four square, climbing and swinging, making up entire lives with our small troll dolls and letting them wade through the waters of melting snow running down the back edge of the hard top — if these are what mattered to me in my hours at school and these are the things that happen less and less in our current public school system…
if if if – it is like a little blip of unansweredness on my screen.
what is the right way to create an education that will matter to my children? what if it isn’t what i had thought it would be? what matters for them?