Saturday, June 12, 2010

Raising the Huntress

When I was a little girl, I loved catching frogs, fishing and hunting turkeys with my Dad.

We had many swamps in our area and I can remember spending hours hunting and catching frogs with the boys in my neighborhood. Some called me a "tomboy". I loved being with boys, because I was able to connect with a masculine side of myself.

I wanted to be a mechanic as a young girl. I dreamt of being a race car driver too and felt that I could bring to light how skillful women could be on the racetrack and working on engines. To this day the skills that I learned back then pursuing my interests have helped me in so many ways a mother and woman. I am so glad that I had parents to nurture this side of myself so many years ago.

Recently, my daughters have shared a desire that our culture may view as "masculine". Tiff wants to hunt frogs almost every single day. She becomes very focused on the thrill of hunting and catching frogs, and snakes and I can feel how much this meets a real need within her!

Hunting is the first thing she has mentioned when she wakes up and the last thing she talks about as she is falling asleep lately. The "Thrill of the Hunt", is something that many girls instinctually feel coursing through their veins.

Yesterday, I brought my daughters "froggin", as I lovingly called it as a child. We hunted frogs for hours around a local pond. We listened as they called each other and discussed the difference between bullfrogs and little pond frogs. I passed on my knowledge about stillness and stealth, and tapped into a side of who I am that was virtually forgotten living in a time in my life where Peace for life leads my inner-being.

My daughters, like many girls, deeply want to connect with their primal roots of hunting. Women have a quiet, respectful way with this sport that few men can understand or appreciate. As a little girl, I always caught more frogs than than the boys whom I hunted with. I had a quiescent way about me that was able to surprise the frogs. The boys in my life were always impressed with my skills, and this is something that I proudly pass down to my girls today as their interest is at its peak.

Honoring a side of ourselves as women to hunt, dominate and catch prey isn't something we should be afraid or embarrassed of. Sharing information with my daughters about a largely male-dominated sport was very empowering. In the same way that I honor my sons desire to cook, sew and garden, I honor my daughters desire to hunt and catch frogs, fish and other creatures.

The desire to hunt is part of Who They Are and it is something that I am learning to celebrate as it is the epitome of Balance in a culture that wants us to lean to either the masculine or the feminine.

Early on in my daughters new interest, I asked myself, "Is hunting peaceful?" I have come to realize that the epitome of Peace for me, is honoring my childrens individuality without judgement. It is my role to respect and facilitate all that they are passionate about and help them reach the depths of Who They Are through respecting their choices.

With that said, I am celebrating the Huntress within, and helping them through honoring their innate desire to hunt. We have a tank full of frogs that they are studying right now that we will soon release to make room for more creatures to hunt, catch and learn about. I am so grateful for this path of love, connection and respect that I have for my childrens interests. I love that walking this path brings me down my own path of childhood again and again.


Anonymous said...

I believe that hunting is peaceful. I can understand why some people would think that it is not, though. I've put thought into the issue. There's a snarky saying out there, "How many vegetables had to die to make YOUR salad?" Vegetarians and vegans associate hunting and eating meat with cruelty, because animals are more "like us" than plants are. Plants are still life, though, and once you have certain understandings of the world around you, you can kind of "get" the balance and respect everything around you. My daughter went through a phase recently where she had to watch lion king every night, and there's one scene where Mufasa is explaining to Simba about some kind of servitude to the antelope. Simba says, "But, Dad, don't we eat the antelope?" Mufasa snickers and says, "Yes, son, but let me explain. When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grss." You can see this attitude among lot of Native American tribes who always hunted Buffalo, but still kind of revered the Buffalo as a god or at least, having its own god). Even when I was a little girl, I watched some Greek relatives from the old country slaughter a lamb for Easter and cross themselves in prayer before they actually killed the lamb. Throughout our history, we've always been able to hunt whle still having revrence for what we were hunting. We didn't always see them as "beneath us". Hope that makes sense....

Silvia said...

I love this article--my daughter goes hunting sometimes with my husband. She doesn't shoot anything, but enjoys being with him in the woods. She's very much a tomboy and has been for several years.

Danielle--I loved your comments.

Twig and Toadstool said...

Wonderful post! I so agree that it is important to nurture both the masculine and feminine side of our children...honoring who they are, (instead of who WE may want them to be). Hunting is such a primal makes sense that our children would be attracted to the adventure!
:) Maureen

Candice Houston said...

I am so happy to find your blog. Our family is new to radical unschooling, and your blog is delicious inspiration. Plus, I have an Ivy as well!

Children of Eve said...

I am laughing because to this day a frog cannot pass by me without me running to catch it! I don't know why, I have always responded that way. If my kids are having a hard time catching something, they yell for me to get it for them, because they know I will.