"Let's have a merry journey, and shout about how light is good and dark is not. What we should do is not future ourselves so much. We should now ourselves. "NOW thyself" is more important than "Know thyself." Reason is what tells us to ignore the present and live in the future. So all we do is make plans. We think that somewhere there are going to be green pastures. It's crazy. Heaven is nothing but a grand, monumental instance of future. Listen, now is good. Now is wonderful." ~ Mel Brooks

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Preparing in Gratitude

Blessing on this room of ours,
Blessing on the garden flowers,
Blessing on the birds and trees,
On the butterflies and bees.
Blessing on the dolls and toys,
On our quietness and noise.
Blessing on the children dear,
On the grown ups who come here.
Blessing on our work and play,
God be with us all each day.
We're preparing for Thanksgiving time in our home. As a Waldorf inspired home, we incorporate the teaching of Rudolf Steiner in much of our daily lives........
"An immense enrichment of the soul is achieved through the experience of feeling gratitude. One should see to it that, even in a very young child, a feeling of thankfulness is developed. If one does this, a feeling of gratitude will be transformed into love when the child is older. In every situation in life, love will be colored through, permeated with gratitude. Even a superficial observation of social life demonstrates that a valuable impulse for the social question can be fostered when we educate people towards a greater feeling of gratitude for what their fellow human beings are doing. For this feeling of gratitude is a bridge from one human soul and heart to another. Without gratitude, this bridge could never be built." ~ from Waldorf Education and Anthroposophy 1922-24 lectures by Rudolf Steiner
Cultivating gratitude within our children is in fact a lifestyle. It is not something that can only be acted on just one day a year. The mere  existence of gratitude in our society requires that we feel it and live it every single day. How will our world continue without it? We already can see the upsetting occurrences of what happens when gratitude fades to entitlement; our Earth's resources are being depleted, some children have grown into adults that have lost their reverence for how precious all life is, there is a lack of respect and responsibility in our ever growing populations. We are a culture of constant consumption.......if only a tear drop of gratitude could be injected into the ailments of the planet and our connection as human beings, might there be a shift in the dire situations of so many?

In the spirit of gratitude, we've been telling a particular story, a bit adapted to help capture the importance of being thankful. We discovered the story of Hugin and the Carrot (adapted from the story Hugin and the Turnip) over at Natural Kids .

The first part we adapted is where the Caterpillar asked if Hugin knew the right way to pull up the carrot.

We added "Did he first give thanks to the Root Gnome and ask if he might pull up the carrot?" Then Hugin put his mouth close to the ground and called: "Gnome, good Root Gnome. Many thanks for helping this beautiful carrot to grow so big and beautiful. May I take your carrot home so that on Thanksgiving Day we can eat a soup that tastes of carrots sweet?"

We also added at the end where everyone is helping each other up:

"Many thanks for you help. So sorry to have knocked you over."

The last line of our story is read like this:

"And nobody was hurt, and everybody laughed. All their hearts were full of thanks for the help each one did give and for that beautiful carrot that would make their bellies warm and full. "

It was very sweet to know that the message was received. Here the littles are meeting the characters and reciting the story as they remembered. I heard many "thank yous" being shared between characters and "oohs and ahhs" for how beautiful the carrot was and how thankful they were for such a lovely treat to eat. It is so beautiful to me how children really are much more readily available to give gratitude. Their wonder, their beautiful attunement to love and how each individual creature is just as important and valuable as the next. I never tire of watching this grace in action.

Another little piece that we've woven into this tapestry of thanks is the song "Johnny Appleseed". We sing an adapted version, for no particular reason, this is just how I was taught to sing it.......

Oh, the Earth's been good to me.
And so I thank the Earth
For giving me the things I need:
The sun, the rain and the apple seed;
Oh, the Earth's been good to me.

Oh, and every seed I sow
Will grow into a tree.
And someday there'll be apples there
For everyone in the world to share.
Oh, the Earth is good to me.

Here is a photo of a little craft we did the other day.......it's a turkey! I'm sure you guessed :) I'm not entirely into these kinds of crafty things, I much prefer something that is a bit more purposeful; but that being said, Charlotte and Kiki are very much into puppets lately. Everything is a puppet ready for a show. We happen to have many gloves that are missing their other so it seemed a perfect thing to turn them into puppets; and why not a turkey?! Gobble! Gobble!!

How do you incorporate giving thanks and living in gratitude with your littles? xo


  1. that first blessing brought tears to my eyes. your whole post rings true to me. so beautiful. <3

    1. ...... My heart is singing!! Thank you xo There is so much reverence in our time spent with children; that first blessing is one of our favorites!

  2. One of my son's first words, was "Thank You" I am impressed at under two years of age how often he uses and in what circumstances. I think even at his young age he truly is grateful for so many things.

  3. What a beautiful verse! And I love how you've been intentional about creating a spirit of gratitude in your home.

    Thanks for linking up on Waldorf Wednesday. I hope we'll see you back this week! Feel free to add multiple links since we were off last week.


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