Song Lyric Sunday: Sarasponda

img_1345

I decided to go off-theme again for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday. When I posted Good Morning to You yesterday, a friend told me about a ditty she used to sing to her children. Her story reminded me of a song I sang to my children when they were infants. It is called Sarasponda.

I had wondered, even back then, what the song meant but I never looked into it. Yesterday I checked it out and was fascinated by what I learned.

Wikipedia said Sarasponda is believed to be of Dutch origin and it is thought to be a song that women sang when spinning at a spinning wheel. Many sources describe the lyrics as  nonsense words, but others think they are onomatopoeic and are meant to represent the sounds a spinning wheel makes as it spins.

It is a tune that is frequently sung around campfires so I probably learned it when I was a Girl Scout, or when I traveled across the U.S. with my church youth group in the mid 60’s.

Lyrics

Sarasponda, sarasponda, sarasponda ret set set

Sarasponda, sarasponda, sarasponda ret set set

A doray-oh, A doray-boomday-oh

A doray-boomday ret set set

Ah say pah say oh.

There are many YouTube versions of Sarasponda. The tune is the same in each version but the way it is presented is very different. I have decided to share three different versions.

Song Lyric Sunday: Little Trees

img_1345

Helen’s direction for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday is to share lyrics from a song that has something to do with nature.

Since a major focus in my life right now is freeing trees from invasive plants such as blackberry vines and ivy, I decided to look for songs that talked about trees. The first one that drew me was Michael Mitchell’s song “Little Trees”. While I liked that one a lot, I decided to consider songs from a wide variety of sources. I listened to Bob McGrath (1922) singing a musical version of Joyce Kilmer’s poem- Trees, Metalicca’s- Blackened,  Rush’s- The Trees, and Enya’s- Memory of Trees.

These songs varied from hopeful to apocalyptic. I decided to go with the first one I had listened to, one that was written for the purpose of teaching children about trees. Michael Mitchell wrote “Little Trees” for Sesame Street. It is part of his album Canada is for Kids: Volume 1.

Lyrics

LITTLE TREES

I’d like to take a walk in the woods
Come with me, do you think you could
We’ll find a tree that we can climb
We’ll have fun all afternoon

Chorus:
Little trees need a chance to grow
It takes time and care
They’re a lot like us you know

So many kinds of different trees
They look like one big family
Big ones, short ones, baby ones too
I’ll name this one after you

It’ll be a long time before he
Is tall and strong like a grown up tree
For now he’s just a kid like us
Playing out in the woods

For the video, I picked Phantom Ember singing the song. I didn’t have much luck finding out information about Phantom Ember. From what I’ve read, I’m wondering if it is the ghost of Ember McClaine from a Nickelodeon animated television series Danny Phantom. Am I right?

I Love You…

512px-Love_Heart_SVG.svg

 

The Challenge for Growth Prompt that started on February 2 was to say something to a child that you wish someone had said to you when you were young.  I practice a developmental form of psychotherapy that derives from Transactional Analysis.  It uses a model that says that inside of us we have a parent part, an adult part and a child part.  There are subdivisions of these parts as well.

As clients heal from their childhood traumas and learn to parent their inner children in healthy ways, I have plenty of opportunity to talk to their child parts.  As a result, I say many things that I wish had been said to me.

There are six stages of development and each one has its own developmental tasks.  For example the first stage is called the Being stage.  It lasts from 0 to 6 months of life.  Two of the tasks children are supposed to learn during the Being stage are that they are loved and wanted and that their needs are important.  If those tasks aren’t learned, it may leave a developmental gap that could last throughout life.

Pamela Levin and Jean I. Clarke both created sets of developmentally based affirmations.  Pamela’s series offers five affirmations for each stage and Jean’s has seven or eight.  Jean includes a “Love” affirmation for each stage.  If you look below, you will see the developmental tasks, the age ranges, and the Love affirmations.  A child needs to begin hearing the affirmation when the developmental stage starts and continue hearing it forever.  For example, we need to hear that we are loved and cared for from the beginning of our lives until the end.

 

512px-Love_Heart_SVG.svg

Being (0-6 months)
I love and care for you willingly.

 

512px-Love_Heart_SVG.svg

Doing (6-18 months)
I love you when you are active and when you are quiet.

 

512px-Love_Heart_SVG.svg

Thinking (18 months to 3 years)
You can become separate from me and I will continue to love you.

 

512px-Love_Heart_SVG.svg

Identity and Power (3 -6 years)
I love who you are.

 

512px-Love_Heart_SVG.svg

Structure (6-12 years)
I love you even when we differ; I love growing with you.

 

512px-Love_Heart_SVG.svg

Identity, Sexuality and Separation (13- 18 years)
My love is always with you.  I trust you to ask for my support.

 

512px-Love_Heart_SVG.svg

Interdependence (Adult)
You are lovable at every age.

 

Consider saying the age appropriate Love affirmations to children that you know… and to the “children” that live within you!

***

To learn more about the stages of development, the developmental affirmations, and how to fill in developmental gaps read:

Cycles of Power by Pamela Levin

Growing Up Again by Jean Illsley Clarke and Connie Dawson

 

Challenge for Growth Prompt #9: Message to a Child

20150726_193656

Message to a child

This week’s challenge is:

“Today I say something to a child that I wish
had been said to me when I was young.”

 

Did you hear the things that you needed to hear during your formative years?  Were you given enough guidance, enough love, enough validation?  Are there words that you wish you had heard from your parents or other adults during your childhood or teenage years?

This week, for 1, 2, 3 days or longer say something to a child (or teenager) that you wish had been said to you when you were young.

Sometime during the week, write a post about some aspect of this topic or about experiences you had when you spoke to the youngster(s). Feel free to use whatever form you desire: i.e., prose, story, poem, photograph, etc.  (If you don’t have a blog, please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below.)

 

General Prompt Information:

New prompts will be posted at 5 a.m. (PST) every Wednesday.

Since it is easier to make behavioral changes if we focus on them one day at a time, each of the weekly challenges will start with “Today, I focus on…….” It will be up to you to decide how long you want to focus on a particular challenge— one, two, three days or even longer. At some point during the week, publish a post that relates in some way to the subject of the week.

Link your post back to this prompt post. If the pingback doesn’t work, then leave the link to your post in the comment section below.  Be sure to include “Challenge for Growth Prompts” as one of your tags.

Throughout the week, I will publish the links for the posts that were created as the result of this prompt.  I will also post the links from those who participated the previous week. That way they will be seen by anyone who comes to this page.

 

This week’s contributors to: Message to a Child

I Love You…- Living, Learning and Letting Go

saying it real (troiku ~ narrative)- Traces of the Soul

For You- Nik’s Place

How about you?

Last week’s contributors to: Stop Repetitive Thinking

“Stay in the Present and Stop Thinking” – Living, Learning and Letting Go

Stop Repetitive Thinking- Home and Loving It

Mind: Shut Up Already!- Traces of the Soul

Challenge for Growth Prompt #8/stop repetitive thinking- Annette’s Place

Tools for Dealing with Repetitive Thinking- Living, Learning and Letting Go

My thinking corner/thoughts for the week- Annette’s Place

Hush…- Nik’s Place

 

The Spark Reignites

Child_in_lake
Photo Credit: Wikimedia

I have very few memories of my childhood, most of which was spent as an “army brat” moving from place to place. As I have been thinking about those years lately, I realize that there is a theme in some of my happier days.

While I don’t know for sure, it seems like most of those pleasant memories may have occurred during the four years I lived in Germany. We were transferred to Pirmasens, Germany when I was in third grade and we moved back to the U.S. after I graduated from sixth grade.

Some of my childhood memories:

• Making forts. When I was really young my brothers and I made forts inside our house, often under tables. Later we made forts in the woods near the apartment building where we lived.

• Playing outside. There were times when I would leave the house in the morning and only come home for meals and at bedtime. I would play with my friends in their houses and outdoors. In those days, children were given a level of freedom that would be unheard of in today’s world.

• During fourth grade, I remember making a large system of small trenches in the school playground. I then filled the beginning trench with water and watched as the water flowed throughout the network.

• I loved butterflies.

• In fourth grade, I also remember crawling under the schoolyard fence and going into the woods to collect snails. When I crawled back under the fence, to return to the schoolyard, I saw my teacher, Mrs. Pollen, and my mother, who also taught at the school, watching me.  Uh, oh.

• My grandfather was a dock master. When we visited my grandparents during my younger years, I would catch fish using a drop line off of the side of the dock.

• I remember hunting for crawfish. That could have been in North Carolina before we moved to Germany or it could have been in Georgia, the place we were stationed after Germany.

As I think of these events, I realize how important outdoor activities and nature were to me when I was young. While it did not continue to be a life theme, there were exceptions.

Barns_grand_tetons_mountains
Photo Credit: Wikimedia

I had loved my experiences of camping with the Girl Scouts and when I traveled across the country with my church youth group in 1965. After Al and I married in 1971 we took trips to Mt. Baker and to National Parks such as Zion, Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, the Redwoods and the Grand Tetons. At least one of those trips we took after Sreejit was born.  In some places we camped, in others we stayed in cabins.

sreejit0013

When Al and I bought our house in 1973, I loved gardening and canning.

In the 80’s I took my children and one of their friends to places like Zion National Park.

Sreejit0007

In the early 90’s, I had a strong desire to have a tree house in the magnolia tree in my back yard. I had planned to have a simple structure built, but the carpenter I hired couldn’t do simple. He constructed a beautiful seven by seven foot structure that even had a skylight!

Tree house

I slept in the tree house from April to October for five years. That era ended the night two large raccoons blocked my path to the tree house. It wasn’t the first time, but it was one time too many. I started sleeping  in the house again. At first the cells of my body screamed with grief. Being contained within the walls felt like moving from freedom to prison.

In the 90’s there was a period of three or four years in row where I explored Bryce Canyon on my own.

1200px-Bryce_Canyon_Hoodoos

For the most part though, my outdoor activities had petered out over the years. I was too busy with work, raising children, and life in general. As I reflect on how I am living now, I can see that the spark has reignited. Gardening is again a priority for me. I have become fascinated by nature, whether it be flowers or creatures such as ants and slugs. A considerable amount of my time is spent in writing and editing the PNW GreenFriends newsletter. A part of me that has been long dormant is waking up.

I grieve that children nowadays don’t have the freedom that my generation had as children. Children are not allowed to roam freely for most of the day. Because of all the violence that surrounds us, parents naturally feel a need to keep their children close and well supervised.

But that is not the only difference. Today, children, teens and even adults are so focused on technology that there may be no time or interest in immersing themselves in outdoor play and nature. Texting, videogames and social media all too often fill their days.

Several years ago, I was at a church when the pastor gave a sermon to the young children. He talked about how in the “old days” children spent their days playing outside on this green stuff. He continued talking about grass as if it was something the children had never seen. He then encouraged them to go outside every day and do activities on that green stuff, activities that would cause them to sweat, something else he thought they were unfamiliar with. While it was a funny sermon, it seemed like an important one to me, then and now. If, as a culture, we keep going the direction we are going, where will we end up?

It is my hope and prayer that all of us will either reconnect with, or experience for the first time, the joy that comes when we immerse ourselves in the natural world, and by doing so may we discover that all beings on this earth are interconnected and can learn to live in harmony with one another.

Written for DungeonPrompts: What did you forget?

Mega Cabbage Feeds 275 People

I found this video so inspiring that I cried.  I hope you are moved by it too.

In 2008, when she was in third grade, Katie Stagliano planted a seed that grew into a 40 pound cabbage. She took it to a local soup kitchen where it was cooked, along with ham and rice, and served to 275 people. But the story only starts there. Watch the video to learn more.

Tomorrow’s the Big Day!

IMG_0233
Photo Credit: Ginny Gensler

Tomorrow is the day most of Seattle has been waiting for, the day of The Super Bowl! I definitely want us to win, but to me this season has been a major success regardless of what happens tomorrow.

In my mind, the city of Seattle, the state, the region and beyond became a family last year as they rallied around the Seahawks football team. That community experience was so powerful, and I expected it would be similar this year; but as far as I’m concerned that sense of community grew exponentially during this season.

There have been rallies occurring here for weeks. On Blue Friday’s so many people wear their Seahawks jerseys to work and in their lives.  As the big day approaches a sea of Seahawks jerseys can be seen every day of the week.  Apparently on the day of the NFL championship game, 91% of the televisions that were turned on in Seattle were tuned in to at least part of the game. Seattle area fans are streaming towards Arizona whether they have tickets to the game or not.

Seismologists keep track of the rumbling in the earth during the games, as Seattle is known for being one of the loudest stadiums.  The dancing and cheering that happened when Seattle came back to tie the game in the NFC championship caused activity equivalent to a level 2 earthquake.  The press box was shaking so much that some of the press thought that a real earthquake was occurring! Take a look at the seismic readings below.  The Beast Quake happened a different year; but notice the difference in the reading during the Dance Quake and that of the Overtime Touch down which resulted in the Seahawks winning the NFL championship game!  For more information click here.

quake
Photo Credit: KiroTV

Governor Jay Inslee created a proclamation that called for all 12’s (Fan’s are considered the 12th “man” on the football team due to their level of support) to engage in three moments of loudness in support of the Seattle Seahawks: at 12:00 p.m. on Jan. 30, Jan. 31, Feb. 1, 2015. He requested that the fans get LOUD, LOUDER, and LOUDEST for 30 seconds on each day.

Government buildings have the U.S. flag, the Washington State flag, and the 12 flag flying. There are 12 flags or lighted displays everywhere. Google Images shows an impressive selection of them.

Celebrating the Seahawks has also become a family event. I heard someone being interviewed yesterday that said their one year old was the biggest Seahawks fan in their family!

Tears rolled down my face as I watched the joy that the children in the video below were expressing.  I think the video exemplifies much of what I am trying to put into words in this post.

(I cried as much when I re-watched the video in preparing this post as I did the first time I saw it!)

So, whatever happens tomorrow I will have had the joy of experiencing a sense of community that is so palpable that in some cases it can be recorded as seismic activity!

GO SEAHAWKS!

*****

Mixed Race Marriage/Mixed Race Children

The July 2014, AARP magazine reported that 15% of new marriages in the United States are mixed race marriages. Oh how times have changed! I don’t know what that percentage was when I married Al, an African-American man, in 1971, but it certainly was nowhere near 15%. Mixed marriage was even illegal in some places in the U.S. until 1967.

scan0013

Our wedding was in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, but we moved to Seattle immediately afterwards.

Prior to our marriage, I was working at Highline County Hospital in Oakland. Just before I left for Seattle, an African-American colleague took me aside and advised me to keep my marriage a secret once I obtained a nursing job in Seattle. She said that if the hospital administration found out I had married a black man, I would be fired. Naturally, that news was very unsettling. Continue reading “Mixed Race Marriage/Mixed Race Children”