Beating Heart {Page-Turner}

Montessori book

Having noticed how happy my kids are (thank you) and how much they enjoying expressing their happiness screaming their heads off and unscrewing my ears and sanity to throw it away in the nearest bin, I have come to relish silence. Silence.

More than ever, I enjoy the quiet that falls on the house in the evening, once everyone is sleeping and I can push my own roots into the ground, feel the vital energy of the earth. To be honest, I always have, just even more so now that home is so full of life, to put it mildly. Finally, I can gather my thoughts - and everybody else’s mess around the place en passant - and try to think clearly.

During one of my quick visits in the children literature section at the Librairie Mollat - the temple of my silences and book addiction - I found a small Montessori book in the Bébé Balthazar collection: Ecoute le Silence. A book by Marie-Hélène Place telling you how to listen to silence. 

Montessori pedagogy

Maria Montessori is the Italian woman behind the pedagogy and philosophy of children’s education, as well as the first woman doctor in Italy. Her method of education is focused on bringing parents and children together on the path of learning and on leveraging each child’s full potentials and stages of development and growth. According to her, teachers are guides who  should encourage and show the way through love, respect, dignity and acceptance, leaving aside all temptation to judge.

The book format is handy: small, made of thick pages that even my youngest daughter can handle easily, no need to ask for my help in turning the pages. The illustrations by talented illustrator Caroline Fontaine Riquier are a pleasure to look at, always: delicate, they do not overfill the page but tend to focus on the characters and their expressions, causing no interferences. 

The story is about being silent and discovering the riches that surround you. If you are silent, my child, you will be able to listen to the wind, to the fluttering wings of a butterfly, to the waves… Not everything is about you expressing yourself; it’s essential to learn to listen to be able to actually learn and grow - two of my favorite verbs. 

On one of the pages, the young audience is prompted to listen to the beating heart of the reader - mine, in that instance. 

I wish I’d filmed the scene: both my daughters were in awe of the sound coming out of my chest. The heart actually makes noise?! And from there, the game began: they took turns in listening to their hearts and then let’s call daddy and see if he’s got a beating heart too… Well, we’ve been listening to every single heart you can imagine by now.

Montessori pedagogy

What’s in it for them? Discovery, mindfulness and awareness that beyond the surface, there’s a whole world begging to be discovered, waiting for your ears, eyes and mind to open up and acknowledge it. Hearts beat everywhere, and letting someone listen to yours is welcoming a fellow soul, intimately getting to know the other and his/her vital rhythm.

“In your silence - when there are no words, no language, nobody else is present - you are getting in tune with existence.”

— Osho

#1: DeathToTheStockPhoto (edited by TheDaydreamer)
#2 + #3: TheDaydreamer

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