This blog has recycled in my head many times. I have turned it over and left it to mature. Here I am more than six months later and looking again at these de-composed thoughts. It is still a lump of thought and if I wait any longer it may never emerge. Basically, I am wondering about change, being a change that we want to see and how this actually works.
There are some experiences from my day-to-day life that remind me of change.
Twice a month we have a recycling day. We collect plastic, paper and tins for a two-week period and put them out for collection and recycling. We have so much recycling that our weekly rubbish bag is almost empty. I even put my favourite but broken glass vase out for recycling. This tall and elegant vase was from Ngwenya glass factory in Swaziland, which recycles glass into new forms. I had enjoyed using this vase for many years and thought it was appropriate to let it go back into a recycling process to become another form with a different function.
Filling and turning kitchen waste in a compost bin is part of my work as a gardener. I am still trying to develop a vegetable garden amidst the challenges of poor soil, snails, caterpillars, and a dog who eats the ripe tomatoes. Compost is an entire mystery to me; we throw in our waste, and it changes with some moisture and heat into a rich nutrient compost that nourishes plants. This rich material, with microscopic fungi and bacteria as well as wiggly earthworms remains intriguing to me, no matter how long I ponder on it. How does it work? How does waste change into good stuff for plants?
A few months ago, our city was handing out compost bins to encourage communities to recycle kitchen waste for garden use. This is a wise decision aimed at decreasing rotting food waste on municipal heaps, which is a health risk. I started thinking about what we view as waste and how we dispose of it. I wondered about what we do with those parts of ourselves that seem like a waste of energy and resources, for example complaining about our neighbours, getting irritated with the driving of others, etc. Would it be possible to recycle our stuff, like anger and irritation, that create wasteful arguments and consume energy, into something else that is good?
You may be asking yourself, how does this relate to children and parenting? A good question. I do not know the answer.
All I know is that our children are experiencing a lot of pressure with expectations of reaching their milestones and developmental stages. It seems that many children are reprimanded for making mistakes that could be learning experiences; for example, dropping a glass that breaks which could be a moment of learning about fragility and holding tightly , or when we are dropped, we break. Can we support children to learn through falling, disappointments, frustration and see all of these challenges as opportunities to turn hard experiences into good lessons? I appreciate that our broken glasses and vases have sentimental value and a history, but it is only a material object that could be replaced unlike trust in a relationship.
I continue to wonder about these things and welcome any random thoughts to be added and recycled to my pile of dilemmas. Perhaps our collective ideas and actions, even if unformed will be the change that we long for.
I have different roles; occupational therapist, mother, wife, friend and sister. I am curious about life and how little children grow to their potential with the support of parents, families and the wider community.