March 19 – The Color of Heaven: Lessons My Grandchildren Taught Me


by Carol Ziel

There is a saying that the reason we have children is for the grandchildren that follow. I could catalogue and index all that they have taught me. Recently I was tutored on a bitter Minnesota morning.  Snow piled under the dawn sky while we piled on the couch: Matthew, Jen, Amelia, Lulu, and I. A video was plugged in and Rapunzel cavorted with her pet frog. The hero Eugene sparred with a horse.

Lately I’ve begun to suspect that beginning my morning with a half hour of Disney might serve the same purpose as my meditations. What is more sacred than the magic of imagination, the miraculous presence of good even in the darkest moments? The presence of humor, of laughter, the colors and energy of creation– especially when the going gets tough?

I begin the day reading the newspaper because I want to know about the world around me–the wars, financial drama, neighborhood politics. However, I’ve begun to wonder if I lose the perspective of magic and the possibility of miracles this way. What would happen if I began my day with the conscious expectation that good can triumph, and the confidence that magic is always around the next corner? My grandchildren and Disney teach me that it could be so.

Later we piled into the car and drove to the Sound of Music. Actually, the only song was “Doe, a deer”–otherwise known as “My favorite things”. That track was the primary song of transportation. I don’t believe the car could have moved unless it was playing.  What would happen if the sound track to my life was recognition and gratitude of my favorite things? What would happen to a world where this was the truth?

Fast track to a week later as I was driving my five-year-old grandson to school. Out of the blue he says “I think the color of heaven is orange”.

It took me several days to digest that, and come up with the logical question, “Why orange?”

Jacob shrugged his shoulders in dismay. “Because red is for fire! And orange happens when day starts and  ends! Duh!”

A couple of days later, we were already late for school, and Jacob hung back–lost in the wonder of catching snowflakes on his tongue. I’d like to say that I found magic in that moment and sacrificed timeliness so I too could catch snowflakes. However, I’m perpetually a slow learner about the important things in life.

It does make me ponder how our lives might be different if we held on to the magic of Disney and went through life with a sound track of gratitude. And how would our lives change if we reflected on truly important things, like the color of heaven? But it’s snowing now. I think I’ll go out and catch a couple of snowflakes. More to be revealed!

Carol Ziel is a grandmother, gardener, social worker, goddess-centered woman who has been a member of Story Circle Network for 3 years. It’s one of her greatest joys and challenges, and she is grateful for the support she finds there.

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4 responses to “March 19 – The Color of Heaven: Lessons My Grandchildren Taught Me

  1. Lovely, Carol! Children are so good for reminding us of the wonder and joy of discovery. You lucky grandmother, you!

  2. Absolutely beautiful! Innocent and cute and the perfect guides and mentors for mindful living and writing!! 🙂

  3. Your grandchildren are precious, and such smiles! I really do believe children teach us so much if we stop and listen, I am afraid I probably was not present enough at times and perhaps could use some “kids” around to re-teach me some things. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  4. Thanks for all replies. Susan–I know what you mean. I was not able to be present for my children, but I can be present for theirs. thanks again! caroline

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