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Sonoma County Gazette
Senior Momentum - Looking out for love

Learning Love...

Feb 5, 2018
by Zoë Tummillo, Communications Concepts


There are so many kinds of Love! Some, they say, are just included in the package when we are born – love for mother, for family, for food and breath and the joy that babes express!

Other loves we learn on our own; still others we are “taught,” you might say, through opportunity, by being brought to beautiful places, or hearing music.

When my granddaughter was very young I so enjoyed watching her learn about love – the love outside herself. She was born to a beautiful home in the woods with amazing wildlife just outside her window! She was born to a Dad who loved to make a magical garden each Spring, and a Mom who was an animal whisperer... She learned to love the miracle of earth and seeds that became vegetables and fruit that graced the table. She learned it so young she could barely toddle after him – the dirt and mud and creepy crawlers all part of the awakening! She learned about the mysteries of animal life through cats, dogs, raccoons, birds and deer with which her Mom seemed to directly communicate! Learning that love was so easy!

She and I walked Shollenberger Park in all seasons. In that beautiful place she learned the wildness of the marshes, the beauty of newborn ducklings and swans. Wild mustard towered over her head! Red-winged blackbirds perched almost close enough to touch! Together we forgot about time; we loved it there!

Borders Books youth areaOur hearts were sad when Borders Books in Santa Rosa put out the word that the store would be closing... It was so much more than just a bookstore to me and to my granddaughter! We’d spend the whole day there with no problem at all. There was a cafe for lunch, bathrooms -- and chairs and couches in every nook.

My love for reading went straight to her through the bloodline! At the bookstore, she would head for the youth area where the story-telling stage and steps was the perfect place to dive into the books she was considering. I would head for my favorite themes and authors...and so a day would go! We’d connect from time to time and “negotiate” concerning how many books we could squeeze into the book budget that day!

Early encouragement for reading real books has suffered some blows, and has been assaulted with the argument of speed!

I don’t pretend to know the answer in the big picture. However, I do know some of what is missing for many kids. Electronic childcare is so easy! Hand them a unit and they will leave you alone for hours of fascination with those high-speed pixels! Once in love with it, it’s almost impossible to lure them into a slower lane...but, then, who knows if it is a dangerous indicator, a frivolous trend or just a matter of simply embracing another dimension?

In the contemplative experience, speed is simply not a necessary characteristic! There’s a very personal intimacy in walking beside a marshland or in holding a real book, turning the pages, moving through the words. There’s love to learn with every step, with every word! Love closed the gap that she was young and I was not; and we learned about love together.

Photos from Zoe’s Family Album



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