Souls Go Around and Around
Talking Local to Our Kids
Orion Magazine online features a touching adaptation of Wild Play: Parenting Adventures in the Great Outdoors (Sierra Club Books, 2011) by David Sobel. In it, Sobel recounts an epiphany he had following a conversation with his three-year-old daughter Tara about the natural water cycle.
He is intrigued by Tara's metaphor "around and around like a ring, which she used to describe how water travels from their backyard puddles, through streams and rivers to the ocean and eventually up into the clouds where it returns to their backyard as rain.
Further, Sobel is astonished when Tara extends her metaphor to make sense of several deaths in their family.
While watching the tiny flames of candles as they floated on a nearby frog pond, each representing a departed soul in the family, Tara whispered to her mother, “The souls go around and around, you know.”
Sobel encourages parents to keep a journal of their child's unique metaphors -- their own local dialect -- which can be used to help explain the world to them and to yourself.