Sunday, 29 March 2009

Chasing Rainbows

I always seem to have a few books on the nightstand that I’m working my way through. They compete heavily for attention with my creative activities these days, so I don’t seem to be burning through them at record speed. At the end of a hectic day with the kiddies, I often find myself in the mood for something light and fun that doesn’t weigh too heavily on my brain! Every now and then I pick up a copy of my all-time favorite childhood book, There's a Rainbow in my Closet by Patti Stren. I’m certain I read this book one hundred times, but surprisingly I never owned a copy. I must have had it on a long-term loan at the library. A few years back Hubby treated me to a copy from a rare and used books seller. As soon as I cracked the cover I was transported back into Emma’s world of dreaming, drawing and painting.

In the story, Emma’s mother is traveling on a work commitment and her grandmother comes from afar to care for her. Emma soon discovers that she shares her passion for art and painting with her grandmother (and the love of the color purple!). Struggling with her mother’s extended absence, Emma initially resists developing a relationship with her grandmother. One day after school, Emma is touched and delighted to find a surprise from her grandmother – a rainbow in her closet! Using her eyeglasses and sunlight, her grandmother creates a beautiful rainbow as an effort to reach out to her troubled granddaughter.

I’ve admired prisms since a very young age. My own Nanny had a collection hanging in the living room window and I always delighted in studying and scrutinizing these tiny yet vivid rainbows. I thought it would be fun to bring a little light, color and beauty into our own day-to-day lives. I purchased prism beads for a very affordable price. I hung them discretely in a few carefully selected spots. One was placed in an east-facing window to capture early morning sunbeams. The other two were placed on a west kitchen window. On a bright sunny morning, I often hear Chi-Chi shout, “Let’s go check for rainbows!!”. We admire and appreciate the colorful little dancing rainbows during our breakfast routine. In the afternoon, the rainbows add a touch of beauty and mystery to my supper preparation routine. The little ones hover around my feet (not always a good thing) and try to catch the rainbows as they dance along the kitchen floor. Our little color beams are always a special treat, as they only appear when the sun is shining brightly.

I believe quite strongly that children should be surrounded by an environment that is pleasing, comfortable and beautiful. This is a fun, interesting and inexpensive way to add a splash of beauty into our daily lives that the whole family will enjoy.

I’d love to hear from anyone who has read, “There’s a Rainbow in my Closet” and who holds the same fond memories I do (Ok Mom, you don’t count! Of course I know you read this book. Thanks for all your much-appreciated help on the grade 5 book report!)

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