Spring’s lifelong lessons

2011-09-08 00:00

AS the sun has begun to rise that bit earlier, the night chill has crept away and the days lengthen, we have dared ourselves to whisper the beautiful word “spring”.

Raising children can result in us becoming so caught up in their academic achievements, sporting results and keeping up with all their peers that we end up missing out on the simple things such as spring.

When we stop and consider the reality of life (and not the temporal, chaotic day-to-day routines we create); when our children are grown and old; when money, fame and looks no longer count, what will become of them then? We may not be around to meet their every need but they will still be our children. I’m sure there are countless psychological and spiritual answers to the question of lifelong happiness, but today I’ll share one simple truth: spring.

Spring is a time of awakening, a time of death be- coming life, a time of freshness and beauty. If we take the time as adults to celebrate these things with our children when they are young, as adults they will then too know how to find beauty, enjoy the sunrise and find pleasure in an early morning stroll. All of which encourages one to go on when life is tough, when one’s soul needs upliftment or hope needs to plant its seed. Opening our children to such things is not something that’s important like helping them to learn to read, it’s vital in order for them to survive the harsh reality of real life.

Celebrating and taking time to notice beauty is not difficult for a child. It’s something that comes naturally, and all we need to do is encourage it. We, how-ever, seem to have lost some of our ability to see, and so it’s us who need to take our blinkers off so that we can see as they do. This is imperative as if we don’t partake in our children’s wonder and awe, they soon learn to dismiss it too.

Spring offers us so many opportunities to stand and stare. Taking a walk around the garden, park or neighbourhood provides us with a wealth of opportunities to stop and look at the radiant colours of different flowers, a bee, its legs bulging with pollen, a cater-pillar inching along or a butterfly flitting from flower to flower. The importance of this lies in that our children will be learning numerous skills such as observation, discrimination, patterns and sorting, but more importantly they will be learning to wonder, stand in awe and want to know why. It’s this need to satisfy one’s soul with beauty and one’s mind with curiosity that pulses life through the veins, and spring offers us so many opportunities to do just that.

So take the time to go for a walk, look at the leaves, notice the insects and pick flowers for the table, not only so your child can learn skills, but more importantly so that he or she can learn to truly live.

“Now the ears of my ears awake and

now the eyes of my eyes are opened”

— E. E. Cummings

• Joanne Madgwick is a parenting and educational consultant. Find out more about her at www.susa-parent center.com


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