Freedom: nature, wildness, and open spaces
“In a moment of joy, we say we are carefree, freewheeling, foot-loose, and fancy-free. Some of the most JOYful moments in life are the ones in which we gain a kind of freedom.” (page 74)
I read Ingrid’s chapter on the design aesthetic of freedom in the book Joyful: the Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness, and it took me back to some powerful memories of being a kid hiking Blueberry Hill, which was a mile from my house. I was often alone and, of course, with no electronics to rely upon.
I rounded the last curve on the winding pathway through the trees. I stood in awe at the kaleidoscope of beauty that was in front of me. The lush greens and electric blues were beckoning me forward. I ran furiously up the hill, throwing my arms out to catch the wind.
The hill was crowded with blueberry bushes that were untouched by human hands. The web of a spider woven between two bushes could easily be seen as the sun shone down on this mid-July day. The blueberries were plump and ripe and ready for picking. I plucked the waxy blueberries from their sturdy bushes. I plopped one after another in my mouth.
The quietness of this sacred place is what I love. A hummingbird’s song could finally be heard. The wind whistled as it passed between the bushes that covered the hill like a blanket. I could even hear my own thoughts.
The cool looking water was inviting my feet for a dip. I splashed around sending a ripple across the stream. This awoke a blue-bellied frog sitting quietly on the bank. He looked at me like I was intruding on his special place.
I knew my parents were waiting for my return, but I had JOY in embracing exploration without constraint.
The sun began to sink lower in the sky. It was time to make my journey back home. The path was getting darker. The overhanging pine trees cast dark shadows across the path. I knew if I went a little further, there would be a clearing and I could take one last look at my Blueberry Hill.
“Joy thrives on the alleviation of constraints.” (page 74) Just like in my memoire…
People are often looking for choice, voice, and a chance to explore and grow.
How do we Lead with Empathy to provide relief for pain-points and constraints which lead to JOY?
How do we give enough choice in the classroom where students feel inspired and free to let ideas soar while also learning under boundaries that feel safe?
How do we encourage and foster the JOY of FREEDOM in our personal and professional lives?
How can we help students to feel the JOY of FREEDOM?
“Freedom.” Joyful: the Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness, by Ingrid Fetell Lee, Little, Brown Spark, 2018, pp. 73-102.