Last week we the week of Hod/Gratitude.) Hod shares a root with todah and modeh/modeh, all ways of saying “thank you.”) Our afternoon in our Creative Arts Omer Project began with a simple yoga pose, actually the last pose done in every yoga class I have attended, bowing our heads in gratitude to our teacher. (I’m new to yoga and recently, in reading the etiquette for my yoga studio, I learned it was proper etiquette to also thank the teacher before leaving the studio.) Once in our Omer groups, the students revisited the song Dayenu, which recounts the Israelites journey from Egypt to Israel. This is the journey we celebrate during the Omer period. Dayenu, which is often translated as “Enough!” might also be translated as “Thank you so much!” Dayenu is an expression of gratitude to God.
We then talked about how "Modeh Ani" is the first thing we say in the morning: Thank you God for giving me this day. "Model Ani" is followed by the "Morning Blessings". Students acted out their morning routine and also came up with a movement for each of the morning blessings. We noted that sometimes things we do every day we might take for granted and forget to be thankful for. Like seeing, standing up, being free. Having an “attitude of gratitude” is super important! The morning blessing help us have an “attitude of gratitude.”
That led to a discussion about how sometimes we have to look for blessings. Here’s a short story that reminded us to look for blessings even when we are feeling sick: “A sick person said, ‘I can’t go outside to play. I can’t run. I don’t feel well. But you know what? I appreciate my window more than you appreciate your window. I look out my window every day. I notice the change in the trees, how strong the wind is blowing…I am drawn to nature like I’m seeing it for the first time.’”
We sometimes forget how grateful we are to be healthy and strong health until we get sick or injured. The window in the story is a hidden blessing. We sometimes forget to recognize the good until things are not so good.
We next looked a photos of scenes where blessings could be hard to find. Can you find the blessing a traffic jam or in a rainstorm. Ask your kids where the blessings are in each of these photos:
Possible Hidden Blessings: no one was hurt in a car accident, we got to spend family time in the car with no distractions, we finished listening to a great book on tape, the traffic was caused by a road crew fixing a pothole where we got a flat tire a few weeks ago
Possible Hidden Blessings: it’s been hot and sunny and not rained in a long time. The earth needs the water, the rain cooled the temperature off, you have an umbrella and a raincoat, soon you’ll be someplace dry.
And finally, our visual art project was super cool. Each student wrote a blessing or a the word hod with a white crayon on a square paper and then gave it to a partner who watercolor the paper and discovered the hidden blessings.