I overheard a mother describe the mud splattered leaves that her toddler was gleefully tottering through only moments before as ‘dirty’.
He promptly fell into the pile of leaves and the mum, faster than lightning, picked him up, whipped out a tissue and begun to wipe off the mud from her little one’s knees.
A little crestfallen, I looked down at my little boy, his trousers and hands smeared in mud, leaves stuck to his shoes.
I feel sad when I hear city dwelling mums describe a bit of mud as ‘dirty’ to their kids. Mud is earth, Earth is life. It feels to me that on some level, urban kids are being disconnecting from nature.
I grew up a wild child, amid unending wilderness in Kenya. Hiro grew up a wild child, on the lush edges of Tokyo. Both our parents encouraged us to explore independently, to be brave, responsible, aware and curious – all the things that being wild, naturally entails.
Life and the world has changed so much since we are little. Fear has encroached on parents and we worry about everything and see danger at every turn. So, I refuse to worry about mud and rotting leaves. In fact – I wish there was more of it around where we live so our son could run wild in it.