by Kay Klinkenborg
Amid a magical spring day, our 2-½-year old granddaughter, known affectionately as “little teacher,” brought profound simple wisdom in her response to her first pinwheel.
Rosie was enamored. At first, her short little fingers had to explore the wooden dowel and then turn the multicolored petals by hand. She watched with intensity as Poppy offered to show her how it worked. He held it out, and the spring prairie wind joined in cooperation to fascinate the small child with the twirling colors.
“Me, me,” she danced with excitement and repeated over and over.
She stood mesmerized for what seemed like minutes. Then to our surprise, she gently bent over, placed the pinwheel on the ground and pronounced, “Thank you, wind.”
We looked at each other startled, neither of us certain we had heard her correctly. Again, she lifted the wand of color to an upright position over her head and stood transfixed and smiled with delight. And then with a gracious sacred gesture, she bowed to the ground, laid the pinwheel down and said in what we understood this time as a child’s gratefulness, “Thank you, wind.”
How often do I say it aloud, thank you? When I see the red blooming poppies in my yard? When the sunset takes my breath away? “Little teacher” was uninhibited: BE SPONTANEOUS. SPEAK OUT LOUD. BE SINCERE.
What might change for me if I stepped back into that childhood authentic wonder and gratefulness? Do I even pause at the end of the day to give thanks for the myriad of blessings I have received? I take so much for granted and often lose spontaneity. Gratefulness is an intentional way of being and to be spontaneous, speak and be sincere: a lesson from a child on being grateful.