“Does not love make us sensible to things which are not noticed by others? Does it not reveal to us details and special qualities that are not appreciated by others? Because he is in love with his environment and not indifferent to it, a child’s intelligence can see what is invisible to adults.”1
Last month in “Breadcrumbs Basics” (a new program for the very young) we focused on our deepest and most loving bonds. Mommy, Daddy, Grandma, Grandpa, big brothers, baby sisters and even a few very special stuffed animals, featured prominently. This month, we widened the scope of the love lense a bit to include “A Few of our Favorite Things”: sunsets, rainbows, flowers, unicorns, birds, butterflies and best friends… the only prerequisite was that it couldn’t fit into the empty gift box I had set before them. We concluded with a playful exercise where we held hands and made an inside-out circle (bottoms facing the center of the circle and bellies facing the perimeter of the room). As we slowly rotated the children were able to “take-in” the room and we played “I Spy with my little eye, something I really love here at LMI” (Longmeadow Montessori International)... the books, the globe, the guitar, the continents, puzzles, buckets, crayons, my friends, the wall mural, the penny work - in a word … and one of the children really did offer this: “Everything!”
Encouraging this level of love, gratitude and appreciation in children, and rekindling it in ourselves, is transformative! We need children in our lives. They are models of enthusiasm (which from its Greek root means: God dwelling within.) They encourage us to “rouse” our inner child and to “re-animate” ourselves with what Maria Montessori referred to as “a fresh and living energy.” Thanks to the children in our midst we are able to truly “feel the breath of love!”2 In these early spring days, as the earth reawakens, there is so much to appreciate… dust off your Love Lenses and IN-JOY!
Montessori, Maria (1966). The Secret of Childhood, The Random House Publishing Group, New York, NY, p. 103.
Ibid., p. 106.