kodomo No Ie

March Newsletter

1: Goals of the Month
2: Thank you, Sakura class!
3: To the parents, “One suggestion”

It’s March and Kodomo no Ie has received a magnificent seven-step ohinasama display. Have you seen it yet? It’s a very beautiful, authentic ohinasama display. If you haven’t seen it, visit the piano room to have a look.
The jasmine by the gate has started to bloom with light peach-colored blossoms, while the field is a virtual carpet of young grasses, including dandelions and wood sorrel. The time of year when the breezes blow gently and children look for insects is upon us as well.
How about you? Can you find spring around you?
   

Goals of the Month

• To enjoy the hinamatsuri festivities by decorating our hina display with dolls made by ourselves, looking at hina dolls, singing hinamatsuri songs, and hearing stories about hinamatsuri.
• To become aware of the seasonal changes taking place—the budding of plants, the warm sun, the gentle breezes.
• To become aware of changes in the vegetable garden as we harvest daikon and radishes, and to be thankful for the garden that has grown these vegetables.
• To keep practicing at ganbari chart (Sakura) and jump-rope chart (Kiku).
• To notice the living creatures in the earth and become aware of the purposes they serve.


Everybody sing! ~Songs of the Month~
Renge Ara doko da (Where’d it go?)
Momo Kawaii kakurenbo (Adorable Hide-n-seek)
Sumire O-sumo kuma-chan (Sumo Wrestling Bear)
Kiku Inu no omawarisan (Police Officer Dog)
Ume Yuran basu (Tour Bus)
Sakura Te no hira o taiyo ni (Sun in the Palm of My Hand)
All Ureshii hinamatsuri (Happy Festival of Dolls)

Sheet music for each class’s song is located next to the attendance sheets. Please take one and have fun singing together at home.


Thank you, Sakura class!

The Sakura class children held a hinamatsuri (Girl’s day Festival) celebration under the warm spring sun on February 26 at the Huntington Library. Because the Japanese garden is under renovation this year, the celebration was held just inside the entrance and drew a large audience as a result. The children all did a great job. Our three annual events at the Huntington Library give the children a chance to share their Japanese culture with people of other cultures. They are also a chance for the children to learn how to conduct themselves properly in a public setting. We will continue to use these special opportunities as occasions for learning.

To the parents, “One suggestion”

Have you read the article “A Report from the Disaster Area” written by Mrs. Hosokawa in the February KNI newsletter? I believe that the article has struck all of you, but do you remember what she has mentioned in the last part of the article?
She wrote, “ I never felt this grateful for tap water”, and “I didn't realize that it 's a luxury to go shopping by car”. Her observations made me think how easy it is to take every day life for granted, and how lucky I am that I can live comfortably and that my family is safe and sound.
I don't need to mention that we all felt relieved and happy when we finally got water and electricity back after the horrible wind spell a couple of months ago. There are so many things we take for granted and never really appreciate until we lose them.
As I have grown older, I've made a habit, before I sleep, to reflect back on my day and to focus on three good things that happened. For example, I am thankful that all the KNI students were able to spend the day safely; a long lasting concern was finally solved; the old heater worked well without breaking down; I finally got what I'd been wanting to buy; I didn't have any car accidents. I believe that if we take a moment to think back a day like my bedtime ritual, we will find countless things we can appreciate in our seemingly ordinary lives. I hope you will give it a try and find many moments of happiness.

I found this poem and the comments that follow it in The Rafu Shimpo:


Such great joy to have what we have by nature
But, nobody seems grateful
A father
A mother
Two arms
Two legs
We can go wherever we want to go
We can hear
We can talk
Such great joy
But, nobody seems grateful
Everybody says it's natural
We can eat
We can sleep at night
The morning comes
We can take a big breath of fresh air
We can smile
We can cry
We can shout
We can run
Such great joy to be able to do these things naturally
But, nobody seems grateful
Except those who have lost them

Learning to see the world with gratitude and appreciation can fill our seemingly ordinary lives with joy and happiness.
The Buddha mentioned this in one of his teachings: right view.
We are all equally blessed with the opportunity to learn this lesson.








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