This is my favorite time of year without question. It is busy, yes. Hectic, for sure. But when I slow down long enough, I realize that the days are getting colder and darker, that even around here leaves change color and lilt to the ground, and soon all of our preparations will reap warm and joyous moments. Though, all of those things fill my heart right up and satisfy me to no end, I can't help but feel a little sad about the way that Christmas encroaches on Thanksgiving more and more each year. Stores close late on Thanksgiving day and open again in a few short hours for massive Holiday sales and deals. I think of those that are affected by the unusual work hours on this day meant to be spent with those nearest and most dear.
This week, in continuing the theme of Thanksgiving a bit longer, I would like to share the connections that we are so grateful for in our lives. I want to pause and reflect on how important this sense of community is for my family and what it means to us in the larger context our lives.
Perhaps, one of the greatest gifts that I have received in the past year is getting to know such an amazing group of mamas. We all live in the same area and know each other one way or another. We have a yoga instructor that leads us in a practice a few times a week in one mama's backyard. The little ones play amongst us and I've glimpsed Rylie doing a down dog more than once. I recently organized a music class that immediately follows up yoga on Friday mornings with a wonderful teacher, Sarah Peters. Her warmth is contagious and the kids flock to her. The class focuses on different music traditions from around the world and each week we explore drums, movement & rhythm. There is always a lullaby at the end to balance things out.
At the beginning of our session, Sarah gave each of us a CD and songbook. We play our CD around here a lot. Last week, we were in the back of the house away from the classical music that was playing on the stereo. The CD changed and the quiet beat of Sarah's drum was hardly noticeable. Rylie stopped what she was doing, cocked her ear in the direction of the drums and started dancing. Oh, the cuteness around here, I tell you.
It is amazing to watch the kids move through different moods during the class. They are always a bit shy to start. Sarah starts class with offering the djembe up to each toddler for a little axé. This gets the good vibes and smiles going. Some will tap it and some pass. Some will do everything to avoid eye contact with Sarah, or the drum, but by the end of class they are all fumbling over themselves to have a strum on her guitar.
Each class is a little different, but the songs stay the same so we all can sing along. During our class right before Halloween, there was lots of fun and spooky variation, including a dance party to Thriller. As a child of the 80s, I had Thriller on vinyl, and a Michael Jackson poster thumbtacked to my bedroom wall, so I was indeed thrilled. During our most recent class, Sarah played a berimbau.
We look forward to each week and feel very lucky to have found such a wonderful teacher. Apart from the hootenanny, for us, it is really about being together with friends and little ones and sharing lots of fun.