Ralph Milton, author and co-founder of Wood Lake Books and his wife Beverley, a retired United Church minister, share their lively faith in words and pictures.
This is a lovely book both to look at and to read. A gift of love from proud and grateful grandparents to those who will, they hope, develop as children of the spirit. They are grandparents that carry out their vocation of Grandparenting with joy. Grandparenting, by their definition, is "a spiritual vocation, which is to delight in grandchildren."
As most of us know once a grandparent, grandchildren become an easy focus of many, many conversations. Thankfully, Milton, although he does emphasize his own relationship with his grandchildren, does not dwell exclusively on them. He introduces friends and acquaintances who also share the commonality of life as grandparents. He makes a careful attempt to include all the permutations of family that we might encounter in our community and commits himself to attempting to address the various challenges and joys of the multicultural, multifaceted lives we encounter every day.
For the Miltons, Grandparenting is a spiritual calling. "Spirituality is the response to the mind-bending questions at the root of it all. Why are we here? What is the point of my life" Grandparenting when taken joyfully and seriously reflects the answer that I believe he gives. The questions can never fully be answered, but it is the unconditional love that is found in the heart and mind of both questioner and responder that provides the answer.
The book is enhanced by its photography showing young and old delighting in one another, their surroundings and creation itself. The many sidebars throughout the book sharing quotes from authors, spiritual and political leaders and everyday people are thoughtful and moving.
|Author Ralph Milton with grandson Jake
The book is relatively short.For me it was not just about being a grandparent, but about being a human being growing older in community. The Miltons appear to delight in both community and the aging process as much as they do in their roles as grandparents. Ralph Milton reminds us that it isn't always easy to age, to live in community or to change. But even the tough, painful parts of life assist us to grow in depth, in love of life and in our ability to offer back to our community, our children and grandchildren and especially to our God our own delight in the gift that we have been given, which is life itself.
This book is a deceptively simple book for spiritual seekers of every age, grandparent or not.