I hope those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving found many ways to be thankful, most of all for family and friends, but at least second best is pie.
My granddaughter, Ingrid, seven and a second grader, spent the early part of the week with me, including Monday night. Her school takes this week for a fall break. At bedtime, we looked for a few books that seemed good for our search for things to be grateful for, things to celebrate. One favorite I wanted to share with Ingrid is Joyce Sidman's What The Heart Knows: Chants,Charms & Blessings, published in 2013. I knew Ingrid was now old enough to appreciate the thoughtfulness of some of Joyce's poems, and while I skipped past some, we read others that meant good conversations about kindness and happiness and being brave. Afterward, I read the others and was renewed again by Joyce's wonderful words. Here are a few lines with the poem titles I hope will count as a "Chant, Charm or Blessing" for you.
It is time for us to wake:
we who stumble through the day
with our gripes and complaints,
It is time for us to look into
each other's faces,
I find Peace
I find peace in the lazy doze of Saturdays
and in the beat of a pounding run.
I find peace when I set greed aside.
I find peace when I have spoken my last word.
I find peace when I am ready to listen.
Song of Bravery
Ingrid has done more than one brave thing in her young life, most lately starting a new school but on the second, not the first, day. But, she did it. She's had lots of talk with her mom about being brave, and enjoyed this poem a lot!
But here I go --
bones clicking quietly together,
blood flowing dutifully
from heart to hands and back again--
here I go, stepping out
through the door
of my own shadow:
into the glare of the arena
to face the lions.
The book is filled with topics for everyone. This time,
and the creatures of the night
will sing your name.
If you haven't read and also enjoyed the playful, but serious, creature imagined and drawn by Pamela Zagarenski who takes the reader on the journey of Joyce's words, please find and savor this book. It also makes a wonderful gift!