Wide Earth Smallholding

Wide Earth Smallholding

And Allaah has made for you the earth a wide expanse.(Qur'aan- 71:19)

Creative Parenting Part One: My Head Is Full Of Poems

This series was begun two years ago at another blog. I am going to begin reposting it here as a weekly series, and then continue on with new additions, insh’Allaah. MY HEAD IS FULL OF POEMS So stated my six year old daughter the morning after we began spending an hour or more each evening together, writing, drawing, laughing and sharing. The night before I had found some old calenders someone had sent us and shown them two pictures- one of moonlight on a river near my old college campus, and another a springtime scene outside of an old red barn. “Write”, I told them. “Write not only what you see, but write what you feel. Write your heart, and that’s a poem.” I realize that poetry teachers all over the world would shake their head at this definition, but my children, ages 5, 8, 10, 13, 16, and 17 (little Asmaa, who is one, simply colored her poetry onto paper, and my eldest is out of the house already) understood exactly what I meant. I gave them each a special notebook for their creations, and put crayons, markers, colored pencils and pens all in a big joyous heap on the floor for them. “Color your poems- make your words speak with more than one voice.”   it is spring a new baby colt born a weavy, windy day early morning by his mother big red barn blue sky above trees blossom picture of spring -Maryam, age 6   The next night I show them a picture of fireworks shouting joyfully into the sky in Colonial Williamsburg. Although we don’t celebrate the Fourth of July, the children had studied American history and know why fireworks are shot off on that day. They had seen fireworks in action during wedding celebrations in Sana’a, so they could bring that experience to the table as well. “Don’t just be an observer,” I tell them. “Experience it, and make us experience it too.” Sukhailah, my 17 year old, made her poem in the shape of fireworks bursting into the sky, and colored it with bold, bright colors.

Sukhailah Fireworks

colors shoot through midnight sky red white yellow green I look out a clear glass window fireworks in the night -Mu’aadh, age 8   Here I go, flying high splashing light into the sky toss my arms, with a pop and roar I’ve never had such fun before light me, throw me, into the sky watch me flying! Soaring high! With an explosion gay and bright remind you of the long hard fight between the British and Americans here in fact, in a spot you’ll find quite near Here I jump to the sky again me and my friends in groups of ten -Juwairiyah, age 13   The next night I wanted to try something different. Alongside our poetry pictures, I again put out the fireworks picture and the moon on the water picture, and I told them to color them- not to draw them, but color them- not as they saw them, but as how they felt them. Or, they could write about one of the new pictures I had chosen. I was surprised, as I often am with these children- my eldest daughter colored a beautiful picture, and my six year old went with words again. I had thought it would be the other way around. Another night I told them to use all their senses to describe something. “Don’t rely on the obvious sense,” I told them. “Like taste for an orange, or sight for the moon. We don’t experience life with one sense- write life on your paper.”   sunshine taste melts in the air I gulp it in, laughing, leaping sunshine fills me smooth vanilla pudding forgotten on the counter happy like a giggle… -Sukhailah, age 17 Moonlight on water drawing And so our nightly ritual continues, as I continue to strive to teach my children to not just live life, but to experience it fully. To help them to see with their hearts as well as their eyes and minds. To know the beauty inherent in every day, as well as in the wild and chaotic universe around them. To respect and honor the world they live in, and to live in it consciously, with all of their senses. Sound good to you? Come along, and we’ll take you for the ride!

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  1. As salaamu alaikum mashaa’Allah that is so exciting. I too have been wanting my own lil farm. Alhumdulillah may Allah grant you much success with your homesteading adventure. I love the idea of have having chickens and bees and goats can’t wait for your updates come spring inshaa’Allah!

    1. Wa Aleikum Assalam wa Rahmatullah! Ameen! It is always good to find others who have some of the same ideas and hopes as we do, mash’Allaah. It seems like most people think we are just a little bit odd for wanting to live in the country and work towards a sustainable lifestyle! May Allaah grant you success in all that you do seeking His Face!

  2. Ameen! I know what you mean my hubby use to think I was weird too for wanting a farm but now he is all on board alhumdulillah lol. We live in a rural type area now with only enough room for a small garden and maybe a couple chickens but inshaa’Allah we can find something that will allow us to do more. And with 6 kiddos the more we can grow/provide for ourselves the better (and by that I mean not needing the grocery store so much especially with all the GMO and other things going on with our food here) and success is only with Allah!

    1. Anything you can do, mash’Allaah is something, alhamdulillah! We have seven children at home now, and alhamdulillah, they are all totally on board with all of this, which is a blessing. Even baby Asmaa does her part, alhamdulillah!

  3. Asalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh. Masha Allah, this looks like a dream come true. May Allah bless you in it. ameen. My 7 year old son really wants to have his own bee hive and make honey “just for mummy and the baby bees.” I will show him this article in the morning in sha Allah to show that it can be achieved alhamdulillah! My eldest son wants to learn how to make a solar powered house, so in sha Allah…I pray Allah takes the three of us out if the concrete jungle we are in at the moment alhamdulillah. Please keep us updated on the bees!

    1. Wa Aleikum Assalam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu, Ameen! Yes, it is actually pretty easy to start with bees, but as with anything, if you are in town you have to check out the rules about them. Hudhaifah, my middle son, is our whiz kid, alhamdulillah, he has come up with some pretty neat ideas for small solar arrays, possibly for electric fences and outbuildings to start, insh’Allaah. Insh’Allaah Allaah will make it easy for you to get on out of the city, but while you are there, just do what you can do, insh’Allaah, as every step is a step, alhamdulillah!!

  4. As-salaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh

    Umm Mujaahid, tabarak-Allah, this is so nice. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’aala bless you and your family and grant you success. My eldest is going to love reading this. She’s into these things too and loves reading your posts, masha-Allah. Baarak-Allahu feeki.

    1. Wa Aleikum Assalam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu
      Alhamdulillah, Ameen! I am glad she enjoys them! Tell her to write and let us know how some of her ideas and projects are going, insh’Allaah. Feekee BarakAllaah!

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