I am writing a non fiction book for children about, wait for it…tea. Sound a bit insipid? After a few hours this morning I took a little break and my mind wandered back to the stark reality of the present. April 15, 2020.
Question to self: “Is what your doing helping?” I let it sink in for a while. Chewed on it, swallowed, and saw a child reading about camel caravans on the Silk Road and about the Boston Tea Party. Perhaps for the first time encountering the terms “colonization” or “fair trade”. History can sometimes be a hard thing for kids to understand. It seems like fiction but it isn’t. It doesn’t feel real but it invokes real empathy. The history of something as everyday humdrum as tea may appear not to address anything important. Or does it?
As a Montessorian I am steeped in the philosophy that my task is not to fix things, but rather to create an environment ripe for understanding. Real understanding – of history, and perhaps even an awareness that it is history we are living right now. Time can be relative – especially when one is immersed in a book or learning something new. Even if it’s something about a boring old cup of tea. Learning about history kids can see their place on the continuum and ultimately make decisions with an expanded perspective. That, my chamomile friends, is knowledge.