Thursday, 21 March 2013

Pysanky in Little Hands

Working with little ones can be such a joy, especially when they come away happy and fulfilled. The influence of a few well placed words, a few big ideas, and time for a moment of total engagement can be hugely effective.

Energetic 10 year olds, boisterous energy, chatter and then complete silence, if only for a moment, because they were totally immersed in creating something beautiful. Focus, meticulous control, frustrated, learning to use a new tool, a new canvas, these kids scribed a good wish onto a fragile egg in the hope of effecting the future.  They made a Ukrainian pysanka!

I came away from the experience moved and impressed at the depth of feeling and artistry they showed. Whether their lines were straight or wobbly, their soft voices and smiles of pride revealed something of their enthusiasm.  They really believed the sun-god would bring energy and light, the drops would rain moisture over fields and gardens, and that curled horns meant food, and a cure for hunger.  Their hearts were full with feeling! Their minds were filled with the symbolism.

I was touched by the little boy who showed me where his pysanka had a big cross.  Another recognized the pine branches (hey that would make a great tea if a person had scurvy), the pussy willows (don't they use them for Palm Sunday), and another the wheat stalks. Even more, I was moved by the brave faces of those who had to pick up their treasured pysanka shells from the floor.  They all called it a five star activity!  They all want to do it again!

Bees wax, a kistka, colored dyes, and each one, teach one! Ukrainian pysanky!

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