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Karen Brennan
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“What is rare is precious”

Monday, January 6, 2014

"There are years that ask questions and years that answer" ~ Zora Neale Hurston

I recently came across this quote and found it very intriguing .  It makes me think of another favorite quote by Rilke:

I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

When I first read the quote by Hurston, I hoped that this would be a year of answers for me.  But I’m not so sure.  In life, especially in life with young children, there are so many questions.  I remember so often feeling, when my children were young, but not just then, that there was an answer out there somewhere if only I could find the right person to ask or read the right book.  Those people and books can, of course, be very helpful, but I really believe that we live into the answers by living the questions.  With young children, life changes so quickly, and though the specifics change, we still carry the same big questions.  What are your big questions about parenting?  Mine are something like—How can I best carry this question for my child, “who am I?” until he can carry it for himself?  How can I express my love –sometimes how can I stay in touch with my love?  What do I need to develop in myself to be the best parent I can for this child who is totally dependent on me?  What does she really need?

We can certainly help and support each other with the specific questions, but the answers to the big questions only come in the living of them.  One tool that helps clarify the questions is Simplicity Parenting (Were you wondering how long it was going to take me to get back to that?)

I received a link to Kim Payne’s presentation on chapter 3, “Environment: What is rare is precious”  If you have never heard Kim speak before, I would encourage you to listen.  He is a thoughtful, caring man and a delightful speaker.  We will talk about the chapter on simplifying the environment over the next few weeks.  Kim calls his lecture, “What is rare is precious.”  I am still thinking about that one and how it applies to my own life.

He also brought up a few points that I found very interesting.  Too much stuff leads to a sense of overwhelm and emotional disconnect.  He said that if there is less stuff, children attach more to parents and less to their things.  He quotes a parent who said, “As our stuff became less, our family became more.”  He also mentions how simplifying allows children the opportunity to play deeply.  Through play, children process all that they are taking in from the  world.  An environment that supports deep play can lead to easier transitions and better eating and sleeping.

Questions? Answers? I don’t know—we need them both, but here’s hoping for a year with more family, more love, more clarity and lots of joy! 

Welcome and welcome back everyone!