Living Arts Weekly: Breezing

July 21, 2018

Air is the voice sounding from the depths of matter, the word made flesh.

– Scott Russell Sanders, Writing from the Center


A cool breeze on a hot day, or a mighty gale that knocks us off our center, the element of air blows where it will. It also lives within us as we breathe, sing, or speak. The ancient Romans called the breath spiritus, honoring the divine thread that connects you to me, and both of us to every other living, breathing creature.  What a truly wonderful thing is Air!  Today, Living Arts Weekly celebrates the element of air and those beings who live in it. I hope you encounter a cool breeze this week that makes you pause to say, “Thank you!”

Mary O’Connell, Your Living Arts Weekly blog editor

Creative Exploration

Felted wool butterflies

How to make a wool butterfly from LifeWays North America on Vimeo.

The video is a little “tongue in cheek!” Of course you do not need to raise your own sheep in order to make these sweet felted wool butterflies with children. You don’t need to dye your own wool either. You can purchase beautifully dyed wool. How wonderful it is, though, when we can take even one part of this process and do it with the children. It’s not something we need to do every time, but wouldn’t it be special to find some raw wool and card it? Or gather some onion skins and dye some plain wool? Whenever we can share real life experiences with the children, we give them, and ourselves, a great gift. In today’s world of instant everything, it’s inspiring to follow a process back to its beginning.

A fun butterfly game to play two ways

Caterpillar wind about,
‘Round and ‘round and in and out,
And when you’re fed, come spin your bed,
And go to sleep — deep, deep sleep.

And when the caterpillar dies, he wakens as a butterfly!
Fly like a butterfly,
Fly like a butterfly,
Fly like a butterfly,
In the sky.

[Note from Cynthia: Holding hands, I lead the children into a tight spiral as we speak the first part. In the middle part, we are very quiet when the caterpillar dies. Then we unwind with such joy and delight as we unfurl from the spiral and fly all about as butterflies! Such fun!

Note from Faith Collins of Joyful Toddlers: I did this individually with my toddlers. I’d get a large silk or blanket and have one child lie on the edge. I roll them over till they “sleep,” then pull the blanket so they come tumbling out, and they run happily around the room as they fly, waving colorful silks to show their butterfly colors.]


Zooma zooma zee!
Busy busy bee!
It takes us hours & hours
To visit all the flowers.
Zooma zooma zee!
Busy busy bee!

What do you suppose? A bee landed on my nose. It said, “I beg your pardon! I thought you were a garden!

Practical Activity

from Kerry Ingram, the creator of Mothering Arts which is devoted to uplifting the postpartum journey by building local inter-generational nurturing gatherings. Learn more on the Mothering Arts website.

Easy Breezy Summer Tomato and Avocado Salad, from my friend, Sara Woll

Slice and combine:

One big beautiful tomato
Half of one cucumber
One avocado

Add a squeeze of lemon, a bit of olive oil, a dash of sea salt, and three tablespoons nutritional yeast.
Dice finely and sauté three big kale leaves in olive oil.

Mix it all together and enjoy.This is great on its own or over crispy lettuce, and/or a handful of freshly grilled chicken.
May the summer fruits and herbs ripen your intention to live summerfully!

Nurturing Care

Create a Monarch Waystation! Plant some milkweed!

We need to create, conserve, and protect milkweed/monarch habitats. Help monarchs by creating a “Monarch Waystation” in your home or program’s garden. Without a major effort to restore milkweeds to as many locations as possible, the monarch population is certain to decline to extremely low levels.

The above photo was taken in our garden at Paradise Farm, and is one of two monarch waystations we have preserved. It is so fun to see the monarchs flying around the farm after several years of not seeing any.

For details, go to Monarch

Social Awareness

The four elements – air, water, earth and fire – form the basis for our online course “Creating Your Family Culture.” If you would like to try one of LifeWays’ online courses on your own time and at your own pace, this course is a great place to start! Explore the four elements and how they work together to form your family culture. Identify the values that are important to you and your family, and practice living those values every day! Learn more about Creating Your Family Culture here.