Memory is lodged in pictures and feelings in the cells themselves. Like a sponge filled with water, anywhere the flesh is pressed, wrung, even touched lightly, a memory may flow out in a stream. — Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Home is a place of memories. Whether it is a faith home or a family home, memories flood our lives. Some memories connect us to the recent past and some become a conduit that links us to ancestors. In Women Who Run with the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes articulates how it feels when a memory jumps out and surprises us. Once the floodgate opens, our hearts and hands must be open to receiving the gift of memory.
There is an obvious meaning of the title, "Memories of Home," for the final session in Creating Home. Yet, the title also raises the image of times when we change our physical home and must reestablish home in a new place. Sometimes a relocation of home includes a change of faith home. This may have happened more than once to some children in the group. It can be a scary and disorienting time. Be aware of families that have recently moved or have a move in their future. These children need security and can be helped by the attention of an understanding adult. Also vulnerable are children who have had their homes disrupted by a trauma, such as a fire at their home or a natural disaster such as a tornado or flood.
Activities in this session recap some of the themes explored in other sessions, while helping children identify what connects the old and new. Memories of both family home and faith home can be contained in physical objects, relationships, and rituals. A certain piece of furniture will travel to a new home and bring memories. Family relationships usually transfer to a new home. Rituals such as graces, Sunday night pizza, or bedtime routines can also carry over to a new home.
This session will:
- Help each child articulate their unique contributions to their family home and faith home
- Model ways to articulate, honor, and rely upon one's memories of home with activities that provide closure to the Creating Home "journey"
- Convey that memories of our Unitarian Universalist faith home and our family home can sustain us in our daily lives
- Investigate and express their individuality through their names and handprints
- Explore how material goods as well as thoughts can produce positive memories to comfort and sustain us
- Learn that smells can also produce strong memories
- Review favorite activities from Creating Home
- Optional: Review the new words learned cumulatively in Creating Home