Angels, Earthworms, and Everything In Between
By Katie Roberts
Her feet barely touched the earth. She glided as if she was sea-foam spreading herself over the sand. Her soul leading, her body a step behind. Her shirt and long hair flowing back in the light summer breeze.
I closed my eyes and I envisioned her caring for children. A globe of light surrounding her, her gentle tone calling to the little ones who watched her in awe. She moved, spoke, and looked like an angel and a model of the feminine. By the end of my LifeWays training, I hope I too will move, speak, and look more like an angel and less like an earthworm.”
It has been four and a half years since that day in Maine and while I have gone through many transformations since then, I am in fact still an earthworm.
Before I began my LifeWays training I had a vision of who I thought I needed to be to best care for the children in my life. My models were the Waldorf teachers I met through parent/child and nursery programs. I thought that “being worthy of imitation” meant I had to be a carbon copy of someone who looked like, sounded like, and acted like my angelic LifeWays classmate, verses being true to myself. I struggled with thinking I needed to be someone else, instead of being the best version of myself. I felt it and my children felt it.
Over the years, caring for children has taught me the importance of authenticity, that beauty and inspiration doesn’t come from a cookie cutter mold, but instead only shines by being true to one’s own self and spirit.
Young children are magical because they are authentic in every way. They inherently live each day being true to themselves. That is why observing their spontaneous moments of song, dance, discovery, and wonderment brings so much joy to the lives of the adults that care for them. The adult is witnessing true beauty in authenticity.
Children have taught me that it is impossible for me to be true to myself when I am trying so hard to be someone else. That is why I can now honor who I am…an earthworm.
I am a Forest Kindergarten teacher and a single mother of two young children. I spend more of my days outside than indoors. My home is the forest and my hearth is the fire pit. I trudge through the snow, stomp in the mud, twirl through the falling leaves, hammer nails, split wood, and catch raindrops on my tongue. My apron isn’t pink or frilly, as it is often equal parts hiking pack and tool belt. And as all those who have been part of my morning circle can tell you, I sound less like a momma bird singing to her babies and more like a bullfrog calling to the full moon. But I am me, with an ocean of warmth and love to share.
Being in the presence of children, who are immersed in nature and deep play, helped guide me back to me and my LifeWays training helped me realize authenticity is not a destination but a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance.
I sit and write this now as a proud earthworm who is busy preparing the soil for all of the little ones, the seeds, so that they can take root and grow. Whether a bear, crab, butterfly, angel, or earthworm children need each and every one of us.
“For what is really the most inwardly beautiful thing in the world? Surely it is the growing, developing human being.”