Finding the Quiet Places
Sunday, December 9, 2012
The Bluebell children are filled with the joy and glee of the season! They are particularly enjoying crafting their holiday gifts for the parents. Although I cannot say what the gifts are, as I don't want to give away the surprise, I can say that they are bright and beautiful! We will be celebrating Euphemia's fifth birthday on Tuesday. Thursday brings Santa Lucia and the second grade children for a brief visit to our room as she delivers the traditional Santa Lucia buns. We will also have our Chanukkah celebration at snack time on Thursday with the delicious potato latkes that the parents are making for us. So it seems that there will be a little something for everyone at snack that day!
In all the rush of the holiday preparations and festivities we can easily lose the peace that we are wishing for, for our families and for our world during this season. It is even more of a challenge than usual to find the quiet places, the unscheduled moments where we can simply and quietly "be" together. Our children need these quiet times especially now amidst all the excitement, anticipation and, yes, stress, of the holiday season. As much as we love our traditional celebrations at school, we are also trying to protect this sense of peacefulness and calm for the children as much as possible. I was looking at one of my favorite books today called Mitten Strings for God, by Katrina Kenison, and was so happy to read again the chapter titled Peace. I hope you find this section as helpful as I do:
When I come to a stop myself, when I draw a circle of stillness around me, my children are drawn into that peaceful place. They visibly relax, as if my very calmness nourishes them. The impact of just a few minutes of quiet attention can be profound, changing the mood of an entire day, restoring equilibrium to a distressed child, and to a frazzled mother (parent) as well... We might sit side by side and draw, or gather up a stack of favorite old picture books and read them, make strange creatures out of clay, or just cuddle on the couch and listen to music as darkness falls. These are the moments when my children reveal themselves to me, when conversation spirals up and out, from the here and now into the realm of spirit and imagination. There in that place Tennyson calls the "quiet limit of the world," we connect with one another at a very deep soul level. My children know then that they have my full attention, and, even more important, that there's no other place I'd rather be at that moment.
So do seek out the quiet places together where you can experience true refreshment and peace. Joyful, peaceful holidays to you!