Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Back to School...

This is Moonshine's "rainbow leaf." Yes, the autumnal change is upon us. The morning air is crisp and cool, the oaks are scattering their acorns, and a few leaves here and there are slowly turning. I love this time of year!

Last week we stuck to our rhythm fairly easily. We enjoyed the morning walks and the chill they left on our noses and ears. We pass a house on our walk that the girls have taken to calling "the castle." It's a grand house of limestone with two turrets, one on each end. It's really something to behold, especially on a street with fairly normal-looking houses. Some of them are just as large, but turrets? Lion statues poised on the steps? Not even close.

This house has really peaked the girls' interests in castles and what it would be like to live in one. As soon as we return home from the walk Moonshine runs to the costume box and gets princessed-out. More often than not Sunburst has joined in, and they've been queens of their own castle.

While I'm waiting for our shipment of school supplies (and for my grand plan to solidify,) I thought we would keep with the castle theme . We're warming up to the new school year with a few more Grimm's tales and accompanying writing practice. So far, so good. I'm bringing in a few of the "castley" stories that reference God a bit more, since we're going to delve into the stories of the Saints this year, it seemed like a good warm-up to the idea of godliness.

Sunburst isn't too comfortable with the idea of God, actually. Jesus, is easier somehow because there is a human form and baby worship, but God? She can't quite wrap her brain around it, all on her own. I once overheard her at a party debating with a table of mixed-age children about the existence of God and his/her gender. It never occurred to me that children would discuss this topic at length amongst themselves, but there they were... Sunburst adamantly espousing her disbelief and another child declaring that God is a woman. "But God doesn't sound like a girl's name," I heard before I walked away shaking my head and thinking they would get clearer answers from a magic eight ball.

I'm toying with the idea of starting into the second grade lessons with form drawing inspired by the story The Clown of God, told by Tomie dePaola. It has just that spark of the mystery of spirit and miracle that I've been looking for. And touching on our own personal needs, it's a good look at the circle of life, following one clown's life from early childhood to his death, from poverty to fame and back to poverty, and seems to encompass the spectrum of human/animal behavior we'll be covering this year in our readings. It's also a good introduction to St. Francis and the Brothers, which we'll return to in another main lesson. It's brimming with material.

Most of all, I love the passage in the story where Giovanni meets the Little Brothers:

"Our founder, Brother Francis, says that everything sings of the glory of God. Why, even your juggling," said one of the brothers.

"That's well and good for men like you, but I only juggle to make people laugh and applaud," Giovanni said.

"It's the same thing," the brothers said. "If you give happiness to people, you give glory to God as well."

"If you say so," said Giovanni...

I'll stir some nature into the story, plug in some forms, and be set to start when our new supplies arrive. I'm excited, actually. The weather, the story... it feels like I might have wandered back onto the path. In spite of everything. It feels good.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:45 PM

    Your writings give me a glimpse into your lifes. Thank you.


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