–by David Griswold, May 31, 2014
Growing up isn’t what it used to be. Today, our kids, from even the youngest of ages, are bombarded with stimuli far exceeding what we, or any of the generations preceding us, ever had to cope with. How do we keep our kids grounded in the midst of iPads and pop up ads, TV screens and Twitter memes? How do we help bring meaning and balance in the midst of a hyper-demanding (and often overwhelming) world
As a preschool teacher, I believe that introducing our children to poetry at a young age holds at least part of the answer.While technology has brought so much to our lives, and completely changed how we learn and interact, I am hard-pressed to believe that a computer will ever teach a child how to live a purposeful life of love and connection. To pass on these life lessons, I think we have to turn back to the stories and songs of our past, and continue to inspire a sense of wonder in children through our words.
So why poetry in particular? As a former English major, I could give you an academic response, but I will tell you what I see as a preschool teacher. Poetry is basically like magic for kids. Before they even fully understand the meaning of the words they hear, I’ve seen how children respond to how words sounds and fit (or don’t). When two words rhyme, it has all the satisfaction of two puzzle pieces clicking together. Even without rhymes, underneath all the words in a well written piece of children’s literature, there is a flow, a tone and a timbre that kids pick up on, and these are some of the first things that help them to understand and organize their world.
Today, as America struggles to catch up to the other nations of the world in math and science, the arts and music are always first up on the chopping block. Poetry and its companions are certainly “nice” and all, but really, are they going to help our children get jobs? While I see the sense in this perspective, and I am all for improved math and science, I don’t think these disciplines by themselves will help prepare kids for the lives we really hope they’ll lead: lives not just of material prosperity and security, but lives of depth, wisdom and sincerity.
I should know–I used to work at Google, and I was miserable! I got to where everyone said I was supposed to be, and when I looked up from my computer and saw the prospects of a 9-5 (more like 7-6) pecking away at a keyboard, I leapt into the unknown and began to lead wilderness trips in Yosemite. This isn’t a reflection on Google of course – there are many friends of mine who are happy with their jobs in Silicon Valley – but more a realization on my part that I wasn’t where I was supposed to be or doing what I was supposed to do. I believe my next steps only came about because, somewhere along the line, the message of “follow your heart” made its way into my ear. It was embedded in the stories I heard as a kid: both those told by my parents and teachers, as well as those told by the books I read and cherished.
Poetry, in particular, teaches children that there is no right answer, and that the process is as important as the end goal. Even more so than with prose, poetry is all about what isn’t said, and what is left for us each to fill in. These are the lessons I hope get passed on to the four year olds I teach: that there’s always more than one way to look at things, and that some questions are ones we need to keep on asking. The very sound of poetry teaches children to pause and to listen closely, to live right now. It tells us all to slow down, and look once more with awe at a butterfly opening its wings, or a leaf falling to the ground.
To help introduce your children to poetry, here are some activities for various age groups that I would recommend trying at home.
1-2 year olds
1.Simply reading poetry to your kids is a perfect place to start. Poetry makes for wonderful bedtime reading, as the sound of children’s poetry is often predictable and soothing. Read children some of your favorite poetry (they’ll hear the tone and rhythm more than the words), or if you’re look for a place to start, check out some of the classics from William Blake or Christina Rossetti. It doesn’t always have to rhyme!
2.Make up songs or poems for different parts of the day, for example, singing “Breakfast time, breakfast time, a happy, sunny, Sunday rhyme,” changing the weather and day of the week accordingly.
3-4 year olds
1.It’s never too early to share Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss with your children. As kids start to get a stronger grasp on the meaning of the words they’re hearing, Silverstein and Seuss combine great poetry with silly sounds and ideas that all kids can relate to (not to mention some really important life lessons).
2.Play a simple rhyming game with your children. Pick up objects from around the house, or point to things in images, name them, and see if your children can come up with a rhyming word to complement that object (don’t point to an orange though–that’s just cruel).
3.Play “gobbledygook” (kind of like magna-poetry for kids): Cut up a bunch of words, and have them create an art project where they paste the words together on a piece of paper in whatever order they want. When they’re done, read the finished piece to them as if it’s a beautiful work of art, even if it’s just gibberish. As they get older, add in more rhyming words, and encourage them to start making sentences and rhymes. Using lined paper may help too.
5 and up
1.Take the rhyming game to a new level: now instead of just rhyming words, work with your kids to come up with rhyming sentences. For example, you start by saying a sentence: “The lioness went to the store,” and your child then has to come up with a response that (more or less) makes sense and rhymes, such as “Her cubs broke down the door.” See how many rhymes you can come up with before moving on to the next word (“The owner let out a roar”), and before long, you’ll be writing poetic stories with your children! You can also adapt this to paper or a screen as your children become more adept with writing or typing.
2.Encourage your children to tell stories from their day with metaphors and similes. For example if they tell you their day was awesome, ask them, “as awesome as what?” providing leading questions like “as awesome as a sunset?” or “as awesome as a whale jumping out of the water?” This sort of metaphorical thinking really helps push kids to make new connections and develop their out of the box thinking (another valuable academic and life skill).
3.Model poetry writing for your children. It doesn’t have to be a work of incredible depth, but if you write and share your writing with them, they’ll be more likely to write and share with you. Any time you or your child share something one of you has written, take some time to explore and ask questions, such as “why did you choose this word?” or “what does this mean to you?” Remember, there’s no right answers.
Growing up, my father would give me two digit numbers to multiply in my head on the way to school. One of my proudest moments as a kid was successfully multiplying 99 times 99 on my way back from the bus stop in first grade (9801 for anyone wondering). These skills later opened doors: they helped get me into Yale, they helped me land a job at Google, but these days, they mostly make it easier to calculate what to tip at restaurants. It’s been poetry I’ve turned to in times of need, and the magic of language that has helped me to navigate the trials and travails of life. Hand in hand with our focus on math and science, I think poetry and the arts are needed more than ever to help our children find meaning in a world that is constantly calling for their attention.
David Griswold is a preschool teacher at the Gan Ilan Preschool in Lafayette and a children’s book author. He has just published his first children’s bedtime book, Mother, What is the Moon? which you can learn more about at whatisthemoon.com.
Baba Marta is a mythical character from Bulgarian folklore. According to folk tradition the name is associated with March. Except March, January and February also have a special place in Bulgarian mythological ideas. January and February are presented as brothers with spicy character – Large beetle Small beetle January and February . Baba Marta is considered their sister ‘s mood – sometimes smiling and benevolent , sometimes unpredictable evil . Nature of Baba Marta is consistent with the changing weather in March.
Oldest are the sources describing how the Bulgarians were decorated with red and white threads of their inns for health, strength and longevity. Most likely, the holiday is inherently Bulgarian originating from the years 580 – 630th AD. Asia ( the continent which initially Bulgarians live ) tradition is transferred to Europe with the migration of a large group of Bulgarians led by Khan Asparuh. The tradition is observed today and in the territories that were Bulgarian – part of Romania, Macedonia, part of Greece, Serbia, and also in some of today’s Russia .
Each year, before the beginning of March, Bulgarians give martenitsi made of red and white threads , traditionally of wool . This makes for health and happiness. On March 1 Bulgarians put martenitsi clothes or wrists and wish health and happiness with the words “Happy Baba Marta .” The holiday symbolizes the end of winter and the coming of spring.
Imagine this scenario:
All the people of the world are split up into groups – large groups. Let’s say about thirteen. Now, most of the groups of people are very poor. Even the people who think they have it pretty good, they are also very poor.
The majority of these groups are kind of like slaves, working for their pittance, taking what they can get with what little they have.
Some of those groups have a lot of “things”, but slave away to afford those things. They’re really not much better off than the really poor.
Just a few, let’s say three, of these groups really have it good. In fact, they have so much wealth that they are not even sure what to do with it all – but they manage.
Now, above it all are the “leaders”. They are above wealth. They watch people kill each…
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Ascension: What is Ascension
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re-blogged from :Gift From The Heart …
Some terrific excerpt from a book of Kent Nerburn which I found on Jean Haines’ Blog ,,
It’s taken me a long time to prepare this article, but as I listened to the video, Shocking Documentary about mind control, and as I considered as well the Exopolitics article/video about the 13 steps towards a new way of doing the people’s business on this planet, I knew I had to get this out to everyone. As you read, I hope you will ask yourselves if what we from the West did to the Native Americans, and, indeed, the indigenous people all over the planet was any different than what is happening to all of us right now at this very moment..
Often, I have pushed the importance of Kent’s work, Neither Wolf Nor Dog, and The Wisdom of Native Americans, edited by Kent. Reading this latter book is to me what church is all about! In this book from which I quote here, Kent has an uncanny ability to interpret for us all what life in these residential schools must have been like, from the children and adults and their families who experienced them to the white people who worked there, to how the surrounding community dealt with them being there.
I offer this excerpt to you all, and with the other two articles/videos I mention above, I want to ask, when you take them all together, if you all can see what the future holds for our species, as we begin to leave this terrible nightmare behind? It didn’t happen overnight, and I don’t think it will go away quickly either. I hope you will be able to see the depth of healing that is necessary. I believe we are going to have to earn the earthly heaven we are all anticipating, and it’s going to be a lot of work, work that I hope will be a joyous enterprise for all of us.
Love and hugs,
Source: Kent Nerburn’s book, The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo: A Child, an Elder and the Light from an Ancient Sky. Available at Amazon.com
I hope Kent will forgive me for using such a long excerpt – but it is necessary, I think, to make my point, and I hope he will sell a lot of his books as a result. ~J
Chapter Sixteen – Priests and Pelicans
Kent tells the story. Grover is his Native American friend.
We drove north from town along a dark highway. The twilight glow had faded and the stars had begun to come out. The ghost of a moon was just beginning to show itself over the bald Dakota hills.
My curiosity was great, but I knew better than to question Grover further. I had learned long ago not to push him on issues of importance, and whatever was on his mind seemed to be such an issue.
Published on Mar 18, 2013
Thanks to C.
This snippet from an Interview of Ester Hicks NAILS it so perfectly!! Just listen to what she says….just listen. Many people don’t have the time or attention span to watch the 3hr video this came from. I found this to be profound, so I posted it.
Last night I was reading the latest issue of Parabola Magazine. As usual, it has many
thought-provoking articles. One that I found especially appealing is entitled
“Seeking Verity” by Tracy Cochran.
Last night, I pulled together some notes from this article for my own use. But after
reading your comments here, I felt that you might find some of this relates to what
you are saying / thinking / feeling.
My notes from the above Parabola article follow.
Give up and you will succeed.
Bow and you will stand tall.
Be empty and you will be filled.
Let go of the old and let in the new.
Have little and there [is] room to receive more.
Do everything with a mind that let’s go. Do not expect
any praise or reward. If you let go a little, you will
have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a
lot of peace. If you let go completely, you will know
complete peace and freedom. Your struggles with the
world will have come to an end.
The quotes that follow are from — Parabola – Vol 38 No 4 – Winter 2013 – Liberation & Letting Go – Seeking Verity by Tracy Cochran
Simon Verity is a stone carver who has worked on many carvings around the world, including St. John the Divine cathedral in New York–where the heart of this story begins.
In the same way that meditators use the breath as an anchor of attention, he [Simon Verity] drew his attention to two square inches of limestone.
“There’s something in the repetitive action of the work, “ he said. “I’m hitting that stone once every second for two hours, and then I stop work for twenty minutes, and then I begin again, and for eight or ten hours a day, that’s what I do.
That’s extraordinary, isn’t it? And I’ve been doing that for thirty years. And that’s a very strange thing to be doing.”
I remembered. This is how you can feel connected to a larger life:
focus on one finite task,
two square inches of granite,
one conscious breath,
and you open to the infinite,
Very slowly over many years,
I learned that consenting to be with what is,
body, heart, and mind,
without judging or seeking
to change anything in any way,
allows a new energy
of life to appear—
and this is the truth I was searching for.
This truth can be found only in the moment.
It would be many years
before I discovered
that what I needed to know
was not to be found in some singular and extreme act of bravery or brilliance,
but in the small repeated act
of coming back to the present moment,
letting go of who I think I am.
As the stone carver Simon Verity told me,
a connection with the infinite
can appear in the midst
of attending to something
Halloween the Great Feast of Fairies and their Tales has just passed by and in order to celebrate this very Feast in my very own way I was given a lovely tale from the Fairies about how the first connection had been established between the Angelic Realm and the Fairy Communities here on Earth.
I wrote it down in my mother-tongue German but it took me some time to have it translated into English to make up a bilingual version for my blog.
Fairies have their own way as have Angels and so one day after Halloween two very delightful matters came to me as further involvement to this tale of mine. Thus it was made fully complete and gratefully I placed them here too with all my thanks to those spiritual beings like Angels and Fairies and the Little People assisting me in such great
Thus this very story became a precious and huge gift to me and made this year’s Halloween a very special one for me.
I do hope when reading it you all will be able to follow sequence here and I am as always with compassionate love of mine to all of you
is some Fairy-Tale about that tiny Angel with his great burning wish in his Heart ….. listen to what has happened to him …..
Sandalphon – the Angel with clappering – tapping sandals …..
by Eva Maria Holstein
Whether you believe it or not – in the beginning of all time on this newly created planet Earth with the name of Gaia there was – once upon a time – a tiny angel in the huge choir of cherubim. And when it was time for all the great and to meet in one of those big councils this tiny one also sneaked into those too and listenened in with his ears wide open and watched everything with big astounding eyes. And he did not wish more longingly and yearningly anything else than be given once such a personal and individual task as well as the great ones were given since these were his great idols he was striving after. Continue reading
Allerheiligen das grosse Fest der Elfen und Geisterwesen aus dem Reich jenseits unserer erdenen Realität ist gerade vorüber und um diese Feier in der mir eigenen persönlichen Art und Weise zu feiern, habe ich hier ein Märchen aufgeschrieben, das mir von diesen Elfen- und Geisterwesen als Geschenk zu dieser ihrer grossen Jahresfeier dargebracht wurde. Es handelt von der allerersten Verbindung des Engelreiches zu ihnen hier auf der Erde.
Ich habe es in Deutsch niedergeschrieben und dann danach in eine englische Version übertragen, um die bilinguale Veröffentlichung auf meinem Blog zu vervollständigen.
Elfen haben ihre eigene Art genau wie die Engel und als dieses Märchen hier angekommen war, war bereits der nächstfolgende Tag auf Allerheiligen angebrochen, der allen Seelen gewidmet ist. Jetzt wurden mir noch zwei weitere Dinge in die Hand gespielt von ihnen und zwar sind dies zwei aussergewöhnliche Videos, die genau zu diesem Märchen passen. Sie hinzuzufügen war für mich unabdingbar, da sie diese kleine Geschichte herrlich vervollständigen.
In Dankbarkeit dem Reich der Engel und der Elfenwesen wie des Zwergenreiches gegenüber habe ich diese herrlichen Geschenke gern angenommen und hier mitaufgestellt. Dies alles hat das Allerheiligen-Fest für mich dieses Jahr etwas ganz Besonderes werden lassen und ich hoffe, dass alle ihr hier beim Lesen und Betrachten dieser Videos sich von den hohen sublimen Schwingungen gleichfalls einfangen lassen und viel für ihre Seelen und inneren Herzen mit in ihr tägliches Leben mitnehmen werden.
Wie schon so oft und immer meine mitfühlende Liebe gilt euch allen hier.
Der kleine Angel mit den Klappersandalen
that’s what we are in the interwoven Net of Light
Wow – that’s our timeline now
and points we are within all
interwoven network “Now of light..”
And each of us with our special shine
are beaming forth into the world so vast …
So it owns the sparkle in measuring size
to spray its light-sparks on to brothers’ road
Swing high and low in the net of lights
bringing forth all colors of this world
and conscious measure of one’s glow. Continue reading
There is a tree
and it grows free
with bloom all over
in your heart.
So much love
It is so green
with ev’ry shade
for love it grows
with all its grades.
So much love
And birdies sing
a lovely song
because of your’s
love so strong.
So much love
Be in peace
your heart is wide
great is your guard
with love insight.
So much peace
For Angels sing
when they have found
a loving heart with
with birds so fine
which sing in rhyme,
harmony and peace
sing the “Om Shanti”.
Coming from wide – coming from afar-
with all our will we reach the portal –
finding us the old homely realms –
to share with all our celestial siblings so fair –
restored to full consciousness of lights –
we all live to praise the eternal might –
and love of the ONE –
we shall hasten and run …..
Bindi ve Sindi
Like a drop in the ocean vast
immersing in it so fast
so my soul will merge in Light
I am with GOD and
praise His Might !
Let the Choir of Angels sing
when we ascend with every akin
We shall whirl with their loving chime
in clearest light
from our hearts’ insight.
by ContraMary, April 2012
What I felt on reading today’s Message of Salusa :
and my heart felt
as if the iron rings I once fastened up around my heart
to hold it strong to keep my powers chained unchanged—
the rings sprang off in one single beam
of light and all my body jumped high
up with joy …
making me tremble with delight
so deep away I was in hiding
away from daily sun
all the times of recent pains …..
And now ?
I hear Angels sing from deep inside
and chiming bells ring out
the coming lines of time
so much – so golden – will be our lives !
Thanks arise with tears of joy
and praise with choirs great
of all the universe’s gratitude to the Divine
We are All-There-Is and going home to HIM ! Continue reading