It was the late 1970’s. When my youngest child started school, I was re-entering the working world outside of home. I taught pre-school with Lynn, an exceptionally wise and kind young woman, whose children were just a little bit older than mine. After all the pre-schoolers arrived, we began each morning together by sitting on the rug in a circle for a check-in, a game, a song and to plan for the day. One favorite activity was singing an “honoring” song. Lynn or I began by placing a ball of yarn on the floor in front of us. Holding on to the end of the yarn, we rolled the ball to a child across the circle. That child would pick up and hold the ball while we all sang to that child these words:
Brenda with her blue eyes and blonde hair, too.
Tell me do you love her? Yes I do!
Then Brenda would hold on to a section of yarn and roll the ball across the floor to another child. Again we would sing to him or her:
Jimmy with his brown eyes and brown hair, too.
Tell me do you love him? Yes, I do!
And so it would go until each child - including Lynn and me - received the yarn, and was honored with song. As the ball of yarn rolled from child to child and grew smaller, the web of yarn that connected us was created and intertwined. I witnessed the shyness and the pride on the face of each child as the yarn ball came to them and we sang their name and honored them by noticing the color of their sparkling eyes and beautiful hair. I felt the same shyness mixed with an awareness that this circle of friends was telling me that I mattered! Often throughout the day, I would hear one or another child humming the song, remembering the power of those sacred moments.
And so it is that we weave this web of life. We carry our own ball of loving attention and extend it to those we encounter every day of our lives. Though a meeting of another may last only a few seconds or may extend over a lifetime, the loving attention that we give and receive strengthens who we are. We weave the web that grows in size and capacity to sustain all, to connect us to every living being. And the ball of loving attention never runs out! There is forever enough to include every one of us, to weave us together into one family of loving attention, where we may be truly seen and honored for who we are.
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