The naturalist’s squat. I’ve heard it said that we have chairs to blame for the loss, in most adults in the west, of the ability to squat comfortably for any length of time. With two small children, one of which is frequently directing my attention to something tiny on the ground, I’ve tested my own squatting limits quite a bit recently. And as I inevitably straighten up after a few minutes, shooting upwards like a post-mushroom Alice, I wonder if giving up squatting has alienated us at all from small nature.
When the ground is wet, cold or prickly, the squat is the only good way to observe insects, small plants and other tiny things. If we aren’t willing or able to squat, we’re going to miss out.
Children, of course, squat with ease. Here, my daughter is checking out some ants. Maybe I should hide away all our chairs so she’ll retain this ability in adulthood.