Rahima Baldwin, who wrote You Are Your Child’s First Teacher, says that the two habits of mind that are most powerful in a child’s spiritual development are reverence and gratitude. just recently i returned to a resource that i think can shed light on some ways we might begin to nourish such habits. it’s called Small Ceremonials And Everyday Altars by Lesley Austin. you can sign up to receive a free copy of her ebook at her website.
Lesley talks about surrounding the everyday tasks that we do with small reminders + bits of beauty that can transform the mundane into the holy. she made pill boxes out of matchboxes, adding a bit of beauty + whimsy to the sometimes onerous chore of taking medicine. likewise, the altars grew out of the nature table displays she created with her children in their homeschool. candles, fabric, shiny glass, leaves + feathers–these have all found a home in the simple altars i’ve created.
last night Mabel + i were watching an episode of Nature about crows. the birds were preening each other and she observed that so many animals preen to show affection + care. i said that’s why i help brush her hair. i also help because there are still places in the back where she has a hard time reaching + rats multiply! but it reminded me that i want the physical interactions i have with my children to be a true laying on of hands. our touch can carry our love in real ways.
these small practices can open doors. they can bring a sense of peace to our days. they can remind us of our important work. they can make straight paths for our feet. as our children watch + participate, their own facility for reverence + gratitude will grow + bear fruit.
make sure to enter the small things with great love giveaway!