One Sunflower

nurturing passions

on August 3, 2010

Slice of thinking – on vacation

For me, time with family is time spent reviewing an amazing variety of personal passions.
Two weeks ago my whole family swooped into town for my nephew’s wedding and I was once again witness to the passions of my nearest and dearest: cooking, game playing, wine tasting, sailing, swimming, quilting, writing, photography, swooning over pets. This week I am being hosted by my husband’s family in Southern Oregon where the passions are just as eclectic but possibly more athletic: golfing, rugby, playing any game with a ball, horse back riding, beer drinking, bird watching, 4-wheeling and river rafting.

It is truly a luxury to be involved in anything that one has a passion about.  It takes time and resources to be able to consider exploring personal interests. But I am also struck by the role that relationship plays in the development of these pursuits.

My brother-in-law was given a hand-made golf putter when he was 4 years old so he could accompany his father on the golf course. Brian loves to golf but he also loves hockey, rugby and soccer.  He goes out each morning at the break of day to practice rugby with his 20 year-old daughter who competes for a Canadian team.

My dad loves to “mess around in boats.”  He goes sailing or putt-putting in his wooden boat every day that the weather accommodates him. My dad is very aware of the fact that the only grandchild that has shown an interest in sailing is my daughter, and yet she’s had to beg him to let her skipper the boat into the dock on her own.

My mother takes great pleasure in watching her 7-year-old grandchild wrap herself in pieces of fabric from her quilt stash, and has even made a box of scraps available for Lucy to “find.”  When Lucy picked up the skein-winder and wanted to know what it was for, Lucy got to experience first-hand how to wind a ball of yarn.

My husband and I had no idea how to nurture the passions of our paraplegic son.  The best we felt we could do was to not say “no” to whatever seemed to strike his fancy.  We couldn’t always accommodate him, but I’m glad he learned there was possibility as often as impossibility and that the “impossible” often had more to do with his parents’ financial limitations rather than his physical ones.

As a teacher, I feel I only catch glimpses of the passions my students are nurturing.  I have children who make play dough tortillas as fine as their mama’s real ones, and mimic the fine cooking they see on a daily basis.  This year, I had a student sit at a little table with pots turned upside down and a plastic celery and carrot in his hands drumming up a storm. Another strummed my guitar until blisters popped up on his fingers.  I wish I could nurture these passions more – again, the best I can do is to not say “no” but “show me more.”

see more slices of life at Two Writing Teachers link


5 responses to “nurturing passions

  1. Lynnelle says:

    Great slice of thinking!! Needed to hear this today!

  2. blkdrama says:

    I agree, “Sunflower”. There’s nothing more important than having passion and helping others find theirs. I love the look of your blog!

  3. natalee says:

    This reminds me of a collage friends of mine made for me when I graduated from college. The collage was of memories we shared and one of the things they included was a quote from one of our education classes: remember it’s not what you’re teaching, it’s who you’re teaching.

    So many times we get caught up in trying to accomplish all the standards that we forget to look for our students’ individual passions. Thank you for this beautiful and interesting reminder.

    You did leave me curious about what things have stuck your son’s fancy!

  4. Stacey says:

    I think “show me more” is a lovely way to open up the door to our students. It invites them in, which thereby nurtures their soul.

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