It’s Full of Stars!
One of my favorite sensory experiences is the sight of sunlight sparkling on dewdrops. I was in paradise the day after our recent storm.
I got down low to the ground to look closer at the newborn shoots of grass holding minuscule orbs reflecting beams of rainbow light no different than diamonds. A powerful message, an adult kneeling in the grass by herself. A soft whisper, “Whoa! Amazing!”
It has to be real. Never a strategy.
Sarah came to me and asked what I was doing.
“Look!” I said, “See the tiny flashing rainbows of light?”
It took longer than I expected for Sarah to see what was crystal clear in my line of sight…
…and then she did. We both gasped at the diamonds strewn lavishly through the grass!
The flavor would be different if a teacher were using this as a strategy to engage students. This is not teaching. This is life. And children are with me.
I noticed that if I moved my head slightly from side to side, moving the source of my gaze, the diamonds would twinkle like stars in the sky. (This, too, is art, a different sort of painting, moving the "paintbrush" of awareness from side to side.) Sarah tried it, too, moving her head back and forth. Nothing happened for her. (At times like this I cherish the practice of accepting wherever they are, all the various forms of “no,” the only way I can know I’m hearing from them what’s real.)
“When you move your head from side to side do you see them twinkle?”
“No, I don’t.”
I kept on moving my head ever so slightly, immersed in my miniature lightshow.
Andy approached. “What are you doing?”
We told him. He saw it, too, flashing rainbows, no different than diamonds. Sarah told Andy you could see them twinkle if you move your head from side to side, her exaggerated movements not quite delivering the result for her. I invited them to move only ever so slightly. Andy saw and enjoyed it right then. And …
“I see it, I see it!” Sarah said, excitedly.
“You see them twinkle?” I asked,
“Yes! They’re twinkling, LIKE STARS!” she exclaimed.
Sarah asked what would happen if she touched it. “I don’t know. You can try it.”
“It makes them disappear.”
“Oh, hey,” I realized, “This is from our morning song! ‘The morning fresh as dew.’ This is dew, like in our song!”
This is the curriculum. Nature delivering it in her own time, never rushed. In attentive hands it unfolds with a coherent intelligence when our own inner window is open.
How can one teach aw and wonder, the holy grail of a full human life? Watch the arising curriculum in our midst. A song occurs to a musician. It becomes a subtle, brief, dependable, delight at the beginning of the day, new vocabulary peppered in, “fresh as dew.” We simply sing. No explanation. Vocabulary lesson 2 waits a full two months to appear when a picture shows up in the middle of a story book, a splendid artist’s rendition of dew drops on a spider’s web.
“See? This is the word in our first song of the day! Dew!”
Three days later, rainbow diamonds dance on newborn grass after the rain. The definition appears in vivid experience.
This is A Wilder Harmony.