Luke 8:15 (New International Version)
15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
My life is in the season of green.
I have a flock of grandchildren growing up around me like young shoots; six little people who fill me with delight. The time I spend with them fills me with happiness; my cup overflows with joy.
We have many rituals that bring security and certainty to their lives and I am cognizant that the moments I share with them are significant; that I have an opportunity to inspire, to teach, to build up their young souls.
With Victoria and Tiffany-Amber we regularly snuggle together for one of Peter Black's Parables from the Pond.
Victoria, at 9, is a voracious reader. She devours books and has an insatiable hunger for them, but Tiffany-Amber, 10, while gifted in music and art, struggles with a barrier that makes reading hard.
More than the struggle itself though, I worried about what negative messages she was taking into herself and believing; messages that had the power to act like self fulfilling prophesies.
So when on Saturday I bought a copy of Watership Down by Richard Adams for Victoria; a book she had been longing for, I looked for something to capture Tiffany-Amber's heart, mind and imagination. I found a book entitled, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. It looked perfect. And best of all, I would get to read it out loud!
Victoria clasped Watership Down to her heart with an audible gasp of wonder! One happy child. Tiffany-Amber looked at the book I bought for her and agreed that we could tag it on to our "Pond Sessions."
And so it was that we began The Miraculous Journey...
The book is amazing. Victoria of course, joined us for the reading. They learned what it means when we say that a book is a "page turner." And we stop at every unfamiliar word and they try to come up with its meaning. There is no wrong answer; it is either close or warmer or spot on! I see confidence blossoming in Tiffany-Amber as she guesses rightly that courtesy means politeness.
The book is so gripping that they beg for chapter after chapter, "One more, please!" And yesterday, Tiffany-Amber said, "I don't read--but I'm reading." And what she meant was that she was actually loving a book. And no wonder. They were shocked by the princess who became a warthog, and then was killed an eaten. No sloppy sentimentality, but a book that trusts children with grit and wit!
We three talked about the elements of story, that you have to care what happens to the characters, that there has to be conflict, and Victoria quickly says that a story about a boy that discovers gold mine after gold mine would soon be boring, but if he followed a trail of gold coins and they led him into a terrible place, it would be an exciting story. Their eyes dance with interest.
And tonight, as I read out loud, we are carried further into the wonderful story of the vain, self absorbed china rabbit, I stop at crucial moments of suspense and pass the book to Tiffany-Amber--and she, anxious to know what happens next reads the words out loud. And I laugh with joy!
At our writers group meeting yesterday evening, as we talked about our purpose and goals, Claire said that we stimulate each other and pray for one another, being catalysts for one another’s growth. How wonderful and green all of this is. My favourite colour of all.