October 13, 2019
I was watching the kittens in our barn last week. Our mama cat, Rosie, has a litter of seven healthy, well-cared for kittens who are five weeks old. They spend the day pouncing on each other, nursing, and climbing all over their good-natured mama. When they get too rough with their chewing or their tumbling, she gently gives them a nudge to let them know they’ve gone too far. She lets them chase her tail and pounce on it, as they practice for a future catching mice on their own. And they all sleep together in a big pile, staying warm as the days grow colder outside the barn.
There is an older kitten, Sawyer, who is five months old. He is the one remaining cat from his litter — all the rest have found loving homes, but Sawyer stayed at the farm because he was too beloved to let him go. When mama Rosie needs to step away for a break from her kittens, big brother Sawyer takes her place. He watches over the kittens, licking them and keeping them warm, until she returns.
As I watch the little cat family, growing in strength and health through loads of healthy touch, I think of all the human babies who spend hours each day in car seats, exer-saucers, bouncy chairs or strollers, waiting their turn for the touch they long for, and I feel deeply sad.
The sense of touch is the first of the four primary senses of the human being. The sense of touch is what allows us to be in connection with the external world, while at the same time, being completely self-contained within the boundaries of our own skin. It helps us learn where we end and the world begins.
I am very excited for our new online course that begins in January, in which we will dive deeply into the sense of Touch, as well as the other foundational senses of Life, Self-Movement and Balance. Parents and early childhood educators alike will find this course helpful in their work and life with young children. Won’t you join us?
Blessings on your week,
Mary O’Connell, Your Living Arts blog editor
Building a Strong Foundation: Care of the Child’s Senses
An online course for childcare providers, early childhood teachers and parents with Cynthia Aldinger and Mary O’Connell
January 8 – February 15, 2020
Early childhood educators can earn a certificate for 15 continuing education hours by completing this course! Click the box below to learn more!
The Sense of Touch and the Will of the Young Child
by Acacia Moore
The sense of touch beholds a beautiful paradox. Through it we come to an awareness that we are separate from the world, from the cosmos that surrounds us; yet, as we experience it, we also follow a deep longing to reconnect with it. The more intimately we connect through touch, the more we realize how very separate, how very distant we actually are. An example that best explains this for me is a feeling I have towards my sons when they are very young. It’s a love and devotion that is also a sad yearning that makes me want to eat them up so I can have them back inside me. Touching them- holding, rocking, caressing, kissing- not any of it seems to be enough because I know deeply that they are not of me anymore. [Read the rest of Acacia’s article here…]