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Taking It Home, Session 9: Creativity in Nature

In "World of Wonder," a Tapestry of Faith program

Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby. — Langston Hughes, 20th-century African American poet

IN TODAY'S SESSION... we considered how creativity benefits the web of life. We learned that female bowerbirds select their mates based on creativity in building structures called bowers. The children created their own "nests" using a variety of materials and noticed how many different ways the nests could be created. We added an image of a bowerbird to our World of Wonder mural.

EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about... different ways of being creative, for example in writing, with artwork, in movement or dance, with music, with problem-solving, with imaginative ideas. Name and appreciate different ways the members of your family express creativity. Identify ways these gifts of creativity benefit your family, your community, and the web of life.

EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try... 

A Family Adventure. Go on a birding expedition, if possible in a local nature preserve. Look for nests and notice how they are constructed and the materials used. Try to identify the different songs and sounds that the local birds make. At home you can learn about identifying birdsong online at the Nature Songs website.

Family Discovery. Learn together about creativity and intelligence as it is expressed in nature. Read books such as What Does the Crow Know? The Mysteries of Animal Intelligence, by Margery Facklam. On YoutTube, watch video of the Satin Bowerbird (1:42) or the painting elephants of Thailand of Thailand.

A Family Game. Read the picture books The Dot and Ish, by Peter Reynolds to reinforce a message that anyone can be an artist and one's creations toned not be "perfect." After reading the books, give each person a number of pieces of paper and put dots in the middle of each page. Have each person use their imagination to see what they can make from their dots. See how creative and "ish" you can all be!

A Family Ritual. Create a family altar or centering space together that can serve as a focal point for your spiritual life together. Decide together how to construct this space and what items you want to display there. Elicit everyone's answers to these questions:

  • What is sacred to you?
  • What items represent the divine (or what matters most to you in the world)?
  • What objects inspire awe and wonder? Gratitude?
  • Do you have pictures or items that connect you with ancestors, family members, and other loved ones which you would like to include?
  • Are there items that remind you of the role of Unitarian Universalism in your life, such as a chalice or a copy of the Principles and Sources?
  • Do you have objects that inspire you to be your best self? Items that inspire creativity?

Place a decorative cloth over a table or other piece of furniture and then work together to place your inspirational items on this special space.

You can use the altar when you want to set aside a special time as a family, for example, to celebrate a Sabbath, hold a gratitude circle, honor a rite of passage such as moving into adulthood, talk through a family conflict, or share a bedtime ritual. Simply gather around the centering place, light a candle or chalice, and perform your ritual.

For more information contact web@uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Friday, May 17, 2013.

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