I am reading Nurturing Children and Families by Sarah Baldwin. The beauty and gentleness of the book is softening me on this bright spring morning as I wait a little impatiently for rain. I especially love how Sarah describes birthday celebrations in her parent and child programme. They have such lovely simplicity. A birthday song, a gold cape and crown, a birthday candle on a muffin at lunch time. That is enough to make, for each child in their turn, a special day at playgroup.
It's popular these days to talk about minimalising our homes, but people still rush about filling every moment with activities, enjoyment, significance. As if we must always make the most of life. Films and stories have become increasingly visually complex and overfilled with meaning. This week, we watched an old movie and were struck by the spaciousness and simplicity of the story, and the strength this gave it - similar to the classic fairtyales.
It seems to me that many people no longer have the instinct to create a space and trust in it. Parents enrich their children's days with intricate toys, activities, educational moments. Advisors lay out a full blueprint for success over several weeks. Storytellers provide every intimate detail of their characters' relationship.
It seems to me that, in all the offering-up, there is really very little giving.
Creating a space involves space. Emptiness that the other person may fill themselves. And trust - that space is effective, that the other person will find what they need without our intervention, and that what they find will be good enough.