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Posts Tagged ‘passion’

IMG_4332[1]We often define a creative person as someone who is artistic—perhaps they’re a gifted musician or painter or dancer. But I think creativity is bigger than that. It’s a state of mind that sees endless possibilities and dreams big, even after facing defeat again and again.

Inventors come to mind when I think of creativity. Alexander Graham Bell created dozens of useful inventions from the telephone to a metal detector, but he also faced hundreds of failures.

Obstacles only make a creative person look deeper and wider for the answers.

Last week I watched a short film on today’s educational system. It raised many questions. Does our educational system kill creativity and curiosity? Does it prepare our children for a changing world? Does it value their unique strengths and interests?

One of the reasons I decided to homeschool was because the current school system seems to be designed to fit kids into a certain mould. I don’t want that for my kids. I want them to love learning and follow their passions and not be afraid of getting a wrong answer—after all, those are the ones we learn the most from.

One day my six-year-old son was painting a ceramic mug to be fired. I admired his bold use of colour. He’d painted a person with brown hair and lovely pointed shoes.  “Who’s that?” I asked.

“It’s you,” he said shyly, looking up at me through his long eye lashes. “But the mouth dripped.”

My heart squeezed with love as I looked at his rendition of me. The dripping black mouth resembled a beard. But it was me he chose to grace his mug. I was honoured. “It’s a beautiful painting.”

I hope he never loses the joy of creating. I pray I never make him feel stupid. I dream that he follows his dreams.

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Here’s the film I watched last week. Very thought provoking! B.C. is bringing in some big curriculum changes for next year. The goal is to create an educational system that prepares kids for a changing future, focuses on their passions, and honours their strengths. I’m proud of my province. 🙂

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Loving the Birds

Photo credit: BrandyCorc

Photo credit: BrandyCorc

It’s been a joy to watch my oldest daughter’s love of birds blossom over the years. Every day, she counts the minutes until she can get outside.

In the fall and winter, Myra stands by her feeder holding birdseed, and the little chickadees swoop down and eat from her outstretched hands. It took amazing perseverance and patience to earn their trust—but she did. One sweet little bird would recognize her away from the feeder and land on her shoulder as she walked through the forest.

In the spring and summer, Myra scours the forest for nests. She checks on them daily and quietly observes the chicks’ growth. One day, as I was walking on the driveway, Myra waved me over. “Do you see the baby?” she asked with glowing eyes. A puffed up, nearly mature chick, bumbled around while the mother watched from a nearby tree. “There are three chicks, and their mother calls to them so she knows where they are.”

As much as Myra rejoiced over the chicks that matured and flew away, she mourned over the ones that didn’t. We learned that a third of wild birds die within their first year, and most of those die within the first few weeks.

Sometimes she was able to give a little help. One evening, our cat caught a young, new-to-flying bird. Myra was able to rescue it unharmed, but the little guy was in shock, so she kept it in a dark box overnight and then set it free in the morning.

Later that day, Myra found a robin chick that had fallen from its nest. We talked about putting it back in the nest, but the nest was too high, and the tree too narrow for us to put a ladder against it. Myra and Melanie watched the bird for several hours to see if the parents would care for it on the ground. But the parents didn’t, and the bird was getting weak.

She brought the bird in and then began the work of keeping it warm and fed. The little guy needed to be fed every couple of hours throughout the day. We’ve raised chicks successfully in the past, but this little one died after two days.

“Myra,” I said as I held her, “I’m sorry that it died, but I’m proud of you for all the hard work you’ve done to care for this chick. It definitely would have died if you had left it on the ground, and you gave it a chance. It just wasn’t meant to be, honey.”

I realized that I could learn for Myra’s perseverance. It takes strength  and courage to keep on loving and being vulnerable after experiencing hurt. But love…is always worth it.

 Myra

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