Friends recommended the film, Babies, to us. Since we watched it, I've been recommending it.
In the opening scene (I hope I remember this correctly - it's been awhile since seeing the film, and we had an out-of-character screaming 1:45 am wake up today), shows an African woman inside her home. The floor is dirt. The space is airy, simple and clean from what one can see - the camera shows mostly the woman's large belly and breasts as she rubs a fine, brick red powder upon herself.
Later in the film, we watch her baby, now born, wade in ankle deep water. He squats and puts his mouth to the water and drinks. Throughout the film, he wears a simple cloth to protect his front and bottom.
My husband and I have watched our son drink from bath water in the same way. Our hearts fill to see him enjoy the water.
Toss the sippy cup, it's just to keep the carpet dry.
Here in New Jersey we're experiencing a heatwave and drought conditions. Summers are typically hot and humid here. Our trees protect us from the hottest hours of the sun. Hardly anything protects us from the biting insects, but the salve a friend and I made. Indigenous people would have done the same, bear fat, I've heard.
Another mother tells me she fears letting her son roam naked around their suburban yard. "Too many wierdos," we agree as our sons play together.
My car's thermometer reads 97 when my son and I get into the car at high noon. We travel homewards crossing black top, passing grassy lawns. I watch the temperature go down to 91. No wonder the earth is warming, where are the trees?
During the summer of 2010 while I was pregnant we went to the Redhawk Native American Arts Council's Pow wow at Sussex County Fairgrounds. Sweat rolled from between my thighs and wetted my socks. My underwear was soaked, my back was soaked. Under some very large trees near the parking lot, we found shade and a cool breeze that was nowhere else. We noted the trees' ability.
My husband and I swam in a spring-fed pool while hiking recently. We wore our underwear and me a shirt as well. I had to go in. We were hiking and driving all day. The trail was quiet, but I wore clothes anyway. We waded in. My husband went under. We swam until we were refreshed and then sat on the warm rocks, dripping. "Two girls are coming down the trail," my husband said. I grabbed my vest and put it over my soaking shirt. "They don't look like they give a sh*t," he continued. I felt awkward and avoided looking back. I was thankful for my soaked clothes. Our quiet moment, now peopled.