We talked to our kids about souls

“I think you’re exactly right, Mom.”

Butterfly Mind

Swinging Bridge at Babcock State Park, West Virginia, autumn on andreabadgley.com Swinging Bridge at Babcock State Park, West Virginia

“Hey Mom, are trees living things or living beings?”

Our nine year old son looked into the forest then up at me as we hiked side by side along a gurgling brook. His dad and sister walked a few steps ahead of us. Upstream was the Glade Creek Grist Mill in West Virginia, a rustic wooden building with a pitched roof. Today its wet planks were framed by yellowing autumn trees.

“I guess that depends on what you mean by living being,” I said. “I think of a being as — ” I tried to think of words that would be familiar to him. I failed. “As a sentient being — something that has a soul.” The path was littered in gold, red, and toast brown leaves, and I kicked at a drift with my leather hiking shoe.

“Personally, I think of trees…

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3 thoughts on “We talked to our kids about souls

  1. What a precious conversation to have with your kids! And your son really got it. You did a wonderful job explaining what is so difficult to explain. It reminds me of when my daughter was 9 yrs old. We were at a yoga center for a vacation and she asked: “Mom, how do I know that it’s me dreaming I am a butterfly and not the butterfly dreaming that she is me as a human being?” She stumped me with that one!

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