November 4, 2018
We are mirrored into life, not by concepts but by faces delighting in us, giving us the beloved self-image we can’t give ourselves. -Richard Rohr
This autumn time, as we in the Northern Hemisphere settle into longer nights and shorter days, calls us to reflection. As we take our evening walk, we see the soft light glowing through windows and the moonlight reflecting on the misty streets, and these invite us to become reflective, too. We are reminded that we are mirrors for those around us, our words and deeds reflecting back to us what we put out into the world. I love the quote by Fr. Richard Rohr at the top of this post, reminding us that the warm and loving care we give to the children “mirrors them into life.” Neuroscience now shows that the gaze between a newborn and his or her loving caretaker creates “mirror neurons” that help a person become compassionate and have empathy for others. Rudolf Steiner told us that when children are embraced with warmth, tenderness and care, it also becomes part of their very being — their bones, their organs, their skin. When we slow down to truly connect with a child as we change the diaper, wash the face or replace the mitten one more time, we give the child a great gift. There are many demands on us, and we are tempted to rush these moments — “We’ve got to go! We need to get in the car!” But how long does it really take to connect? This week, let’s reflect on some of the ways in which we mirror our children, and each other, into life.
Blessings on your reflections,
Mary O’Connell, Your Living Arts Weekly blog editor
Evening Tea and Poetry
Wisconsin LifeWays Early Childhood Training student, Lichelle Gullett, shares her family’s sweet evening ritual. “Evening tea and poetry reading is something we’ve been trying to incorporate into our daily rhythm. There is something so warm and beautiful about sitting together as a family, sharing a pot of tea and reading poetry together by candlelight. These chilly fall nights have us looking inward and thinking about ways to bring more warmth into our home. My heart is bursting with love for my two guys and at the memories we’re beginning to build in our new little home.” Try serving your evening tea with the delicious muffins below!
Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins from Korrin Rogers
Korrin Rogers, LifeWays Early Childhood Training graduate and owner of Om Mamas Postpartum Kitchen shared with us her recipe for these warm, gooey and oh-so-delicious chocolate chip banana muffins. This recipe is easy for children to help with and they will love to eat them, too!
- 4 overripe bananas
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 5 tbsp of almond milk
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour or spelt
- 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
Mix together and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy for morning snack, or with your evening tea and poetry!
Get your own creative juices flowing by writing haiku!
This is the simple meaning of the word haiku:
A major form of Japanese verse, written in 17 syllables divided into 3 lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables, often on the subject of nature or one of the seasons.
Take a poetry break, even if you don’t like poetry. This is a writing exercise to help you tune into the natural world and play with words to describe it. (Yes, adults need to play, too!) These are like easy little poem stories.
Our LifeWays North America board took a haiku writing break during our most recent board retreat. The mosquitoes, which were quite prevalent at the time, showed up in our haiku more than once! Here are a couple of our haiku, to give you an example:
From Rhoda Kambandu:
Leaves fall from tall trees
That reach for sun’s shifting gaze
And carpet my walk.
From Ashley Masters:
Golden sun beams glow
Slap, swat, flap, mosquito dance
Write a haiku and share it in the comments below!
Simple and meaningful reflections
Words for Parents and Words for Teachers and Caregivers are wonderful books written by Judith Frizlen, who speaks with a warmth and wisdom drawn from her years of experience as a parent and director of Rose Garden, a LifeWays Representative Program in Buffalo, New York. In these wonderful texts, Judith offers insightful observations and discussion, artfully woven together as weekly reflections that will nurture and inspire your parenting or teaching.
These books are great gifts for yourself or for a friend who lives with or works with young children! Click here to learn more about author Judith Frizlen!