When The Wind Stops

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Title: When the Wind Stops

Author: Charlotte Zolotow

Illustrator:Stefano Vitale

Age Range: 4-8 years old

Paperback: 32 pages

Themes: Circle of life, Cycles, Seasons

SYNOPSIS:

Where does the wind go when it stops?

When a little boy asks this question at the end of a happy day, his mother explains that the wind does not stop-it blows away to make the trees dance somewhere else.

Reassuringly, she tells him that nothing ever ends, it simply begins in another place or in another way. Rain goes back into the clouds to create new storms, waves fold back upon the sea to become new waves, and the day moves on to make way for the night, bringing the darkness and stars for the little boy to dream in.

Charlotte Zolotow’s lyrical prose and Stefano Vitale’s rich illustrations make this a beautiful celebration of the cycle of life.

Song of Amergin

As you say each line of the Song of Amergin, stop to reflect on what it means in the natural world, and how it applies to you.

I am the wind across a deep wide lake. 

I am the wave over the endless sea.

I am the stag of seven tines, racing through the woods.

I am the eagle in the afire, flying above the rocks.

I am a flash of light from the sun above, bringing heat to those below.

I am the blooming plants, bringing the sustenance and beauty.

I am a wild board, powerful and strong.

I am the salmon in the water, swimming endlessly upstream. 

I am the hill where poets stroll for inspiration. 

I am the head of the spear that draws blood in battle. 

I am the god that puts fire in the head and honor in the heart. 

 

Take time to reflect on each of these thoughts. How do they apply to you and your place in the natural world?

Stretch your arms, and take in a deep breath. If you’ve been sitting, stand up.  This is a warrior’s song and to really feel it’s power, you should be on your feet facing the sky.  These last few lines can be shouted at the top of your lungs if you feel like it.

Who spreads light in the gathering on the hills? 

Who can tell the ages of the moon? 

Who can tell the place where the sun rests? 

Thing about the answers to these questions. How do they apply to you and your everyday life? How do they apply to your spiritual journey?

Take a few more minutes to think, and when you are ready, begin your trek home.

#51 Lady of the Season’s Laughter

(Kendyl L. R. Gibbons)

Lady of the seasons’ laughter, in the summer’s warmth be near;
when the winter follows after, teach our spirits not to fear.
Hold us in your steady mercy, Lady of the turning year.

Sister of the evening starlight, in the falling shadows stay
here among us till the far light of tomorrow’s dawning ray.
Hold us in your steady mercy, Lady of the turning day.

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Fairy NightSongs

(Gary Stadler)

Dancing a spiral we sing unaware
On fairy night wings our songs fill the air
Making a circle of magic and light
Watched silently by the Fey of the night

Our hearts full of love and our arms open wide
We hold the key to the fairies delight
Song in our hearts belong in the air
The words of our wisdom we bring forth to share

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UU Principles as Inverted Triangle

Sometimes it is easiest to think of the UU principles in the children’s version.

Sometimes it is helpful to think of the Unitarian Universalist Principles arranged as pillars.  

Other times, it is helpful to think of the UU Principles arranged as an inverted triangle. In the moments of darkness, I change my perspective to viewing our UU principles in triangle style. Going from 1 up to 7. From the individual person out to the bigger world.

UU Principles TriangleThey now become a useful ladder with a clear path to follow. When I don’t have the energy for broadcasting on all 7 channels? I dial it down to the level I can best be at.

It begins with Principle 1: “The inherent worth and dignity of every person.” Even me. I could be kind to myself, and expect of me what is actually doable, what is actually realistic.

My flu best isn’t going to be the same as my healthy best. My grief and mourning best isn’t going to be the same as when we are not in bereavement. That’s ok. All I have to do is my best in the moment. Hit the number I can hit. When I am doing better, I can climb the next rung on the ladder and add that.

If my compassion does not include myself, it is incomplete.

Little Yellow Pear Tomatoes

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Title:Little Yellow Pear Tomatoes

Author:Demian Elaine Yumei

Illustrator:Nicole Tamarin

Age Range: 3 and up

Hardcover: 32 pages

Themes: Interconnectedness, connection, circle of life

Review by Janet Boyer on amazon.com:

“Everyone and everything-my daddy, my mommy, bugs and worms, clouds and sky, lakes and rivers, the sun and stars-are parts of the tomato you cannot see. Take away any one, and the little yellow pear tomatoes in my garden could not be.” -from the book

Little Yellow Pear Tomatoes is a delightful 32-page book by Demian Elaine Yumei examining the universal circle of life through the innocent eyes of a young girl. Inspired by the author’s youngest daughter (who really *does* love pear tomatoes)-as well as the Zen teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh-the little girl in the story marvels at all the energy and collaboration it takes to grow the tomatoes. From the earthworms who aerate the soil with their tunnels to her Mommy who weeds the garden, there are a lot of not-a-tomato things that are in little yellow pear tomatoes!

Filled with lush, vibrant illustrations by first time Mom Nicole Tamarin, Little Yellow Pear Tomatoes follows the contemplations of a little girl who see that everyone and everything brings something essential to the fruits she loves so much. Because many things contribute to the growing of the tomatoes-her Daddy who plants them, the sun which grants energy, the lakes, rivers and oceans that supply the clouds with water, and even the hearts of stars-all things are inside every little pear tomato.

Imbued with exquisite artwork and the gentle message of interconnectedness, Little Pear Tomatoes is a fitting book for such troubled times. Ever since we’ve gotten this book, my son has asked me to read it to him every night before bed. Interestingly, this month’s picture on my kitchen calendar features tomatoes of all shapes, sizes and colors, so I was able to show my son pictures of actual yellow pear tomatoes. Admittedly, I hadn’t heard of-or seen-these types of tomatoes until reading this book!

While the Amazon recommendation says that this book is geared towards babies and preschoolers, the words are advanced enough to challenge the reading skills of 7-8 year olds in my opinion. This is no mere picture book