"...apart from any external organization whatever, there is a silent work going on in the hearts of thoughtful and educated mothers, which never comes before the public at all, but is silently spreading and deepening under the surface of our life."
--Dorothy Canfield Fisher in A Montessori Mother
Art credit: Mother and Children by Theodore Gerard
From a book, Seven Ages of Childhood by Ella Lyman Cabot:
"This second period, from about three years to seven, is the Dramatic Age. ..a child of three or four turns to things of the spirit. What magnificent wisdom he shows! If our generation would but take the path of this imaginative age, civilization would lose its dulness. Eyes have we, but we see not; ears have we, but we hear not the sounds of the spirit. The more worldly-wise we become the less we use our eyes, our ears, our feet.
"The wisdom of children is that, as soon as they acquire the tools of language and skill in handling their bodies and the surrounding world, they turn to create art and speak poetic prose...
She then goes on to tell of a little blind boy of five who sang through a long, smoky tunnel while on a train while the rest of the passengers were irritable and annoyed.. He changed the mood of the rest of the passengers. "He was in a magic dungeon, and, like Saint Peter and Saint Paul in prison, found his way out through angelic messengers and song. Children escape from all prisons, are free from all poverty, because wherever they are confined, they create."
Art credit: Happy Families by Andre Henri-Dargelas
I could share gems from the book I just recommended all day. But here's one pertinent to our current Covid world:
"...I hope to prove to you the importance of working ....at some creative thing that you care about. ...
"We have come to think that duty should come first. I disagree. Duty should be the by-product. ...The creative effort, the use of the imagination, should come first,--at least for some part of every day of your life. It is a wonderful blessing if you will use it. You will become happier, more enlightened, alive, impassioned, light-hearted, and generous to everyone else. Even your health will improve. Colds will disappear and all the other ailments of discouragement and boredom."
--Brenda Ueland 'If You Want to Write'
Art credit: Muteremben by Miklos Barabas
With a new wave of panic, fear and anxiety spreading around the world with the appearance of the latest Covid variant, I have been pondering the nature of dis-ease against the background of what I am learning in my harp therapy certification training.
If you look up the word 'ease' in the 1828 Webster dictionary, it references a quiet state, tranquility, free from anxiety. Dis-ease is the opposite of that and it is being in that state of mind that is very literally making us physically sick. Stress is incredibly hard on our bodies.
I know it's all a complicated subject. But there is so much evidence out there that calming our minds and our hearts put us in a state of being where our bodies can heal. In fact, they used to send patients to the countryside to bask in the sunshine and fresh air and calm their minds..
There is a book out there that has been around for decades written by a Harvard medical doctor called The Relaxation Response. He teaches what putting ourselves in a 12-18 minute meditative state daily can do to improve our health in every way. Yes- prayer is a meditative state. My harp teacher visited him some years ago. He had heard of her work with the harp. She said what he was describing could take place instantly with the vibrations of the harp. And he concurred.
Soooo..I have a little prescriptive care for you. Unfortunately, when they created CD's and digital music, they disrupted the sound waves that are so healing. But the good news is everyone carries around an amazing instrument with you all the time--your voice. The vibrations of your voice as you sing are therapeutic and will bring a state of calm faster than anything I can think of. And if you want to bring it up a few notches, find some other voices you can regularly harmonize with. Even if you have to social distance.
Given what I know, I think it could take us a long ways in battling this pandemic. The fear and anxiety are only going to make things worse. We need to fight dis-ease with 'ease'.
Art credit: Singende Kinder by Waldmuller
The Well-Educated Mother's Heart