Imagination Week 4: Nurture Your Imagination with Nature

Throughout our abundant lives, we can find simple and quick ways to connect our learning and growth at church to our lives at home. 

IMAGINATION: Spotify Playlist

At Church: 

We learned that our faith is a hopeful one. We assert that life in our natural world is good and full of possibilities.  The world and our faith nurture us. In difficult times, we are always encouraged to hold on to hope by imagining the new day that is on its way because we believe in our 7th principle: we care for Earth’s lifeboat.  So, what’s one of the ways our faith guides us into becoming a people of imagination? It tells us to “imagine the new day that is on its way!”

Morning Time:

The Freedom Burrito or Mindful Moments with Lea

Consider this thought by Kris Cervantes ~

“…Look up at the stars, and down at the grass:

Imagine the stars looking back at you over years and centuries, across oceans of empty space.

Imagine the feel of the grass on your bare feet and feel it—dry and crunchy, soft and supple…

Dream for a little while of young people and young animals, innocent in the way of the young, careless and uncaring, accepting everything in their newness.

Dream for a little while of the elders and the wisdom they have to give…”

Drive Time:

Listen to: Love Song to the Earth by Paul McCartney, Sean Paul, Natasha Bedingfield, & more

Meal Time: 

Discuss: Where do you imagine best?  Outdoors?  Alone in your room?  On walks?  In your bed reading?  Nighttime?  How does nature invite us to play in our imaginations?

Weekly Chalice Lighting (By Eric Williams)

In the beginning

There was light

Infinite and expansive

Flowing out from an unseen center.

Throughout Creation

There is light

From the steady Sun

The glowing Moon

The flashing Meteor

The twinkling Stars

And the auroras dancing in the northern skies.

Within each part of Creation

There is light

Slowed down and held close

By every cell and molecule

By each atom and element.

Within you

There is light

The same light as the Source

The same radiance that is in all creatures.

May this small flame

Be a constant reminder to you

Of your true nature

And your kinship with all beings.

Bed Time:

Read: Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes

Flotsam by David Wiesner

I Wonder by Annaka Harris

Family Time:

Build fairy or elf houses

Dress up your garden, yard, or any tree by making some houses for the fairies or elves. You can craft a single house or make an entire town. Most of the items needed to make these houses can be found lying around your yard. This project can be modified in every way to fit your imagination!

Materials recommended

  • Flat bases, such as a piece of bark from a tree.
  • Craft sticks
  • Twigs, leave, or other wall items
  • Tiny stones, gravel, etc. for walkways
  • Tiny dried flowers (a bag of potpourri works great)
  • Anything natural that you find outdoors
  • Wood glue

Instructions

Start by searching your yard for a large, flat base. You can make the initial wall structures out of craft sticks. Glue these onto the base. Choose an item for walls, such as twigs or leaves, and use them to cover the outside of the craft stick walls. Use other items you find outside to create walkways, trees, flower beds, windows, antennas, swings, porches, little piles of firewood, and other fairy garden accessories. Just let your imagination go wild. 

Here’s a video with instructions, just in case your imagination needs a jumpstart.

Blessing of Imagination

When we imagine liberty–true freedom–for all people everywhere, may we grant our spirits a dance of joy.  When we imagine friendship and understanding among siblings across all cultures, may we reach out our hands in anticipation of that one-day clasp of mutuality.  When we imagine our loved ones coming to harm, may we feel the warmth of the Source of Love that lives in each of us, and here find faith that all will be well.  When we imagine the fragility of our democracy, in our own muscles may we feel the strength of those working for voices and votes for all.  When we imagine what has never been, what isn’t, what could not be, may possibility dawn, as well as a vision of a beautiful, new future, beginning with our very next thought and action… So may it be, and we imagine it so.

-Teresa Honey Youngblood

Monthly Meditations

The Freedom Burrito

Sometimes we get wrapped up in an emotion, an argument, a project, or a hug.  This meditation helps us practice letting go of the parts of each day, both good and bad, so that we are free to rest and move forward.  It requires your imagination!

To make the Freedom Burrito:

  1. Start by laying down comfortably at the edge of a blanket you like the texture of.  Close your eyes, breathe, and relax. Pay attention to the feel of the blanket against you.  
  2. Imagine something you got wrapped up in during your day, or something you would benefit from letting go of.  As you add details to the picture you’re imagining, slowly roll yourself up in your blanket.  Keep your eyes closed, and focus on the event or emotion from your day as you roll.
  3. Once you’re rolled up in your blanket like a burrito, take a pause and notice how you feel.  Can you move your arms and legs?  How does your belly feel?  Depending on what you got wrapped up in during your day, your blanket burrito may feel good… or it may feel like too much!  That’s okay.
  4. Once you’re aware of how you feel, imagine yourself in the most comfortable, reassuring hug anyone has ever given you.  Try sharing that hug with however you’re feeling, like two puppies meeting in the park.
  5. Imagine letting those puppies go; watch them run around in the park in your mind’s eye.  Let your emotions and the events of your day go with them.  Let them be free.
  6. Slowly start to unroll your blanket burrito, and start to stretch your arms and legs.  Let your body and whatever you were wrapped up in go, like those puppies.  Feel the freedom in your heart, mind, and body.

Mindful Moments with Lea IMAGINATION

  • Remind the children about the importance of calming ourselves so we can better focus on each other and our time together.
  • Tell them that a special friend named Lea has written a song for us to learn and it is a song that teaches us about the importance of this month’s theme: Stillness.
  • Since you are using the 4-minute (longer version) video, tell the kids that we are going to sing along with Lea and her children and then listen to their conversation. Tell them that afterwards you will have your own conversation.
  • Center the children before playing the video.
  • After the video talk and listen with your child to discover all the things you heard together