Tuesday, April 2, 2013

PICTURES FOR PARENTS PART 3 : "LIVING IN THE KINGDOM OF SILK - Parents need to be Tender-Hearted like Nell Silk"

"And Nell lived with them all looked after them and loved them all even though she wasn't related to them by birth, only by heart." ALL THE COLOURS OF PARADISE:Glenda Millard, p 48.
"Nell grandmothers the Silks, tells them true things she has learnt over her many years of living. She is old and wise and perhaps a little magic, as many grandmothers are. Nell says Grandmother magic is left over from childhood; that we all are born with magic in us but many of us forget about it when we are grown up. Nell is loved and listened to." PLUM PUDDINGS AND PAPER MOONS: Glenda Millard, p 3.
"Almost all the recipes pasted into Nell's spiral-bound cookery book with flour-and-water glue were hand-me-downs. Most had been hand written by the people who gave them to Nell. Often the writing was faded and the paper yellowed. Nell thought of these recipes as pieces of other people's lives, given away like slices of Armenian Love Cake with a cup of tea. .... Tiny treasures to keep forever. Nell knew most of them by heart, but she sometimes read her recipe book the way other people might read a novel. Sometimes she laughed as she read. Sometimes she cried. "PLUM PUDDINGS AND PAPER MOONS: Glenda Millard, p 30-31.
"Nell's heart was gently squeezed and she wished everyone was as lucky as she was and could eat (Christmas) pudding with people they loved." PLUM PUDDINGS AND PAPER MOONS:Glenda Millard, p43.
"Later, when Nell was resting amongst the feathery hills and downy valleys of her eiderdown, Scarlet crept into her bedroom and slid between the sheets. Nell's arms went around her the way they had so many times before. Scarlet stared out the window where stars pricked holes in the darkness like tiny promises of brighter tomorrows and she wondered how to explain the things she felt inside. .... But many unsayable things have been said because of eiderdowns and a grandmother's arms. 'I'm so sorry I was mean tonight, Nell,' whispered Scarlet. .... 'You're forgiven for shouting,' said Nell, 'but you don't have to apologise for disagreeing with someone or something." PLUM PUDDINGS AND PAPER MOONS:Glenda Millard, p58-59.
"The following morning Scarlet lay on the old red couch by the verandah steps. .... A pair of Nell's old spectacles with rhinestone-studded purple frames was perched on the end of her nose. Scarlet was wearing them to try to understand the world wisely, the way Nell did." PLUM PUDDINGS AND PAPER MOONS:Glenda Millard, p 62-63.
"Not many people expect the world's leading authority on tender moments to be a small white-haired woman who doesn't drive a car or know how to operate a computer and who has no ambition to learn how to. Nell Silk never attended a university because they do not offer courses in subjects such as the observation of tender moments. There is no technology, no textbook, no diagram or formula with clear instruction on how to identify and preserve them, pressed like forget-me-nots, between the pages of one's life. It is a hand-me-down skill usually passed on by wise and wonderful grand people to their children and grandchildren." THE TENDER MOMENTS OF SAFFRON SILK:Glenda Millard, p 11-13.
This is the third post in the series PICTURE FOR PARENTS ~ "Living in the Kingdom of Silk - Parents need to be tender-hearted, like Nell Silk.
WHO IS Nell Silk?? you ask. She is one of the characters in a series of books written by Australian author Glenda Millard.
The Naming of Tishkin Silk  (not in photo as it's lent out)
Layla Queen of Hearts
Perry Angel's Suitcase
All the Colours of Paradise
Plum Puddings and Paper Moons
The Tender Moments of Saffron Silk   Published by ABC Books.
The first three books have won book awards and my guess is the others will in time. Over Easter I continued reading the series which is like a heart-holiday or reviver, written for people of all ages. I highly recommend them.
The point or picture I want to 'paint' in this post, comes again from Charlotte Mason's book "School Education". It is about parents being  Warm-Hearted, having a disposition that inspires and invigorates others, of warmth, heart-felt friendliness, openness in an honourable straightforward manner, not trifling but persistent in a passionate desire to see a cause outside one's self, advance and develop. 
Nell Silk in the Silk Kingdom books, is a true 'fit' with the above description. Yes the books are fiction and the characters are made up, but the stories, the conversations, the tough life situations, the oddities that come into one's life, are all so familiar to 'normal' life. The courses of action, methods of working with the difficulties, and conclusions in the books, set one's thoughts moving in our own set of circumstances. The real reason I want to encourage you to read these books is to be "inspired", "invigorated", to be challenged out of our comfortable adult minds, and to see things as children do. 
Charlotte Mason gives this character trait the title of "The Element of Good Humour" and says it "is the outcome of strength", the opposite of "overmuch complacency, and a general giving-in to all the children's whims." which she states is an outcome of parental weakness. Charlotte adds that children are quick to see the difference. Strength breeds being "loved and listened to", while weakness "produces a restless desire (in children) to gain some other easy victory" over their parents.
The 'picture' given in this post, is another positive example of where to head as a parent. In a world where women's media especially, cuts ties of security in womanhood and parenting, with their ever changing perspective of what parenting is truly about, this series of books gives a cheerful and refreshing mind-sensation to the reader/parent.
I enjoyed Glenda Millard's description of Nell Silk being "the world's leading authority on tender moments", drawing attention to the fact that the skill of Warm-Heartedness, Heart-Felt Friendliness, being Honourable in a Straightforward Manner or possessing the Element of Good Humour, is  "pressed like forget-me-nots, between the pages of one's life." This is not to say that if you missed it in your own up-bringing, you can never pick it up - definitely not. You just have to read, talk to, watch and be a part of families who live like those in the Kingdom of Silk.
THISWEEKWITHTHEKIDS ~ start reading these books with your children.

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