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Touchstone Center for Children 

January 2020


The year seems to have begun with gusts of winds – cloud banks of air rushing past us – as we ourselves bend and twist with every sudden rush of the sky’s breathing. In front of me, coming towards me, a father and his two very young children, holding his hands, singing, for all of us to hear: We are the wind, We are the wind, We are the wind. And suddenly, as if by impulse and inspiration, both children break away from their father – and running as fast as they can, sing their newly discovered one-word chant:  Wind, Wind, Wind – as they, and their coveted word, seemingly disappear, all at once, into the invisible air.

I often think, when speaking and working with children in classrooms, what it means to a child to become a quality of the invisible, to become what we often can’t see outwardly, but with the eyes of our imagination we can bring to life. Perhaps play, so indigenous to childhood, is the art and act of living into and out of the invisible, making it alive so it can be felt and heard as a pulsating presence – as did Lizzette, in the 5th Grade, when she wrote:

                                         The wind grew
                                         colors and then
                                         it vanished into
                                         the eyes of the
                                         big night.

or, embraced by the very ecstasy of playing, Johanny, in the 3rd Grade, shared:

                         When I am playing I feel like hugging the wind
                         and kissing and singing with the air, pushing the
                         air far away. I am very, very happy.

To touch the invisible, to bring into being all that lives through our imaginative awareness, into what is at the core of aliveness itself – is certainly a way for us to begin, this, our new year – as did Camille in the 6th grade, when she wrote:

                                         The wind is air that moves to find
                                         more air. Wind wants to create by
                                         making pictures. Wind is a making
                                         of the world.


Richard Lewis
Touchstone Center for Children

Illustration by Edward (4th Grade) from “I Catch My Moment: Art and Writing by Children on the Life of Play,” compiled by Richard Lewis. Copyright (c) 2007 Touchstone Center Publications. Writings and photographs from Touchstone Center Archives. 
Copyright © 2020 The Touchstone Center for Children, All rights reserved.

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