Joining Ginny today…
At present I am still working on the slowest going pair of mittens – of which you see mitten number one. Which means, I still have mitten number two to go. Sigh. More on that another day. Maybe.
As for reading, I don’t know if any of you are familiar of the Five in a Row series of homeschool/educational books by Jane Claire Lambert, but basically it works on the premise that if you read the same story for at least five days in a row, the book “will become very special to the child” (and parent, I might add) and by discussing various aspects of the story (illustrations, theme, characters etc.,) they will learn valuable critical thinking skills as well.
I used the first volume of the series with my son Sam when he was 3 and now I am revisiting it with my youngest, Tim, now 4. However, from time to time, as I’ve gained more confidence in the concept and myself, I’ve branched away from Lambert’s suggested reading list (though the books are all truly marvellous) and applied the same approach when I come across a book not on the list I feel I MUST share with my littlest.
All of that to say, these days we’re reading Frederick, by Leo Lionni. It is just one of those stories that feels like necessary reading right now.
A favourite quote:
“Frederick, why don’t you work?” they asked.
“I do work, ” said Frederick. “I gather sun rays for the cold dark winter days.”
“And when they saw Frederick sitting there, staring at the meadow, they said “And now, Frederick?”
“I gather colors, ” answered Frederick simply. “For winter is gray.”
Naturally, this book offers a wonderful opportunity to talk about the changing seasons, how different animals prepare for winter, how we as humans prepare for winter and, for me most importantly, what we need to gather in preparation for winter to survive the long, dark, cold days. As much as we need fuel for warmth and food to stave off starvation, we need art, craft and beauty to feed our souls when our natural world drives us indoors, when all things green and golden seem like things of our distant past.
Now, it strikes me that this applies to the history of our lives as well and how necessary it is to gather and store the colours, the words, the veritable sunlight of our days – for the times when it all feels so very long ago.
So, that’s what I’ve been trying to do. Remembering to put aside the “real work” from time to time (Lord knows there is enough if it). Getting outside, gathering scenes from my most favourite season of all, one that seemed to zoom by this year.
And gathering moments indoors, too. Images of harmony, joy, and celebration because these moments seem to zoom by even faster.
Because before you know it, the boy who was 3 and sitting on your lap reading books together, all of a sudden turns 10. How wonderful is that?!
Yes, I think Frederick gets it right. To go beyond survival we must stop and savour these moments and in doing so, we gather them up for a time when they are a thing of the past but still magically retain the power to bring joy and warmth to our innermost selves when we need it most.
What about you, what are you gathering these days? What books are inspiring you to look at things a little differently? What colours and words do you want to remember? Why? Of course, I always want to know what you’re knitting, too – that goes without saying!
Wishing you a most wonderful day!