This past weekend, I was lucky enough to have a little classroom at the local Unitarian Universalist church, filled with little ones learning a lesson on thankfulness. The kids are always fun, and I’ve discovered many gems since exploring the UU curriculum. This week, I found The Secret of Saying Thanks by Douglas Wood.
It’s an absolutely gorgeous book, with soft and beautiful illustrations, but what really struck me was the message, and how well it fit into a Pagan or Heathen worldview. Usually books on thankfulness focus on God or the creator, and give thanks to him for a beautiful world – but in this book, the little girl gives thanks to the world itself! Stopping for a rest, she sits on a rock and says “Thank you rock for standing still and not changing in a world so full of noise and speed and change.” What a wonderful sentiment, and a fantastic lesson to teach our children, especially those of us who work in more animistic traditions. As the girl walks along, she thanks each thing she sees for its beauty or its intrinsic value; and then at the end reveals “The more we say thanks, the more we find to be thankful for. And the more we find to be thankful for, the happier we become.” For me, even more so than holidays or goddesses, this is what our children will benefit from learning.