“You must learn day by day, year by year to broaden your horizon. The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you are indignant about, the more you have left when anything happens.” Ethel Barrymore
I do not have a university degree. This has been, at various times in my life, an embarrassment and a frustration, but always a point that niggles at me.
Sometime over the past 4 years, those feelings have slowly changed. No, I have not returned to school to complete my degree. The shift occurred because my children are now university students. Through them, my horizons have expanded.
Walking through a research site with my son, a biology student, as he patiently explained ant-plant mutualism, I listened closely. And it made sense. I slowly became aware that science didn’t have to be a mystery. Books written for elementary school students about ecology and other aspects of science may still be my speed, but I have someone who sparked my interest and desire to know more. And who always answers my questions. Even if I’ve asked them before.
Through the eyes of my daughter, I have learned about people, places and events that have shaped the world. She helps me to connect the dots. Nothing is black and white for her; there are many sides to issues and she turns them over and over. The world is not big to her; it is all connected. She has taught me to be curious again. “But why…” was her favourite saying as a child. Now it is mine.
And so, as always, it is my children who have provided the answers to questions I didn’t know I had. Seeing the world through their eyes continues to shape and reshape my life. Broaden my horizons.