What an enlivening experience it has been to create a calendar which honors our nation’s youth, in particular, the youth who are an integral part of our nation’s farmworker families, recognizing their strengths, their determination to succeed, their wisdom, resilience and vitality in the face of life’s challenges.
Peace, Celia Roberts, photographer and publisher
It has been said a sound body and mind requires that we live not in the past or future, but in the present. “Be present” should be the call for all of us who are entrusted with civilization’s most valuable assets across cultures and across time: our children. Although it is a simple statement, “being present” is packed with an important value – almost a virtue.
We should stand in awe and be thankful for the essence of every child on earth, honoring each child’s gifts, their wonderment and unlimited potential. All children are extraordinary; they deserve to discover their uniqueness, their greatness and their many hidden gifts. It is through the thoughtful actions of parents and educators who illuminate the often dimly-lit path for children that they become aware of their unique self and begin to thrive. It is the intentional parent, educator or loved ones who recognizes the special gifts and talents in each child and builds upon that knowledge to spark the ember that becomes the flame of passion. This can be accomplished when significant adults in children’s lives are truly present. As natural as it sounds, to “be present” is not always easy. Unlike children, many adults have to re-learn how to be present and available in the moment. The easy part is being physically present; it is more challenging to be involved with our hearts, as well as our minds.
To be fully attentive in the life of a child has been referred to as getting “in tune”. Tuned in adults will recognize a child’s keen curiosity in art for example, or in a scientific discovery or public speaking and therefore encourage those natural gifts to be expressed throughout their lives. These initial expressions must not be missed!
Busy educators, parents and other adults, who often are consumed and overwhelmed with other demands for their time and energy, need to be reminded that the window of opportunity childhood offers may only be open for a short time; celebrate it! The risk of missing a chance to encourage passion and creativity in a child is too high of a price to pay for both the growing child and his or her society.
We all know once a moment has passed, it cannot be relived. Let us be grateful for those times when a child gives you a glimpse into their unique talent and potential. It is at that moment you have the opportunity, through an encouraging response, to invite the child to come back to you with even richer expressions of themselves.
As parents, educators and all of us who love and care for children, what greater reward is there than knowing you have assisted a child in their own journey of self-discovery? It all begins with “being present”.
May the following photographs of children engaged in their young, active lives serve to remind us to take risks ourselves and rediscover the creativity that is ours, still yearning to be expressed.
Celia Roberts - Earth Images