Under the shadow of the tree from which it was born, an acorn will take root and begin to grow. It has its own unique way of knowing what it will take to become an oak tree. Much like children, who hold within themselves the secrets to their own future, and ours, for that matter, the acorn will take what it can from its surroundings and use those resources to overcome obstacles and slowly and steadily reach upward. “To stimulate life, leaving it free, however, to unfold itself–that is the first duty of the educator [or parent, friend, aunt],” so said Maria Montessori. It is so easy to lose sight of the vast intelligence housed in the tiny people we call children. So often we try to replace it with our own or someone else’s. May we look at a child today with the same awe as a seedling; both are engaged in a great work. It’s a gift to be able to provide a bit of shelter and watch that work unfold.
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