One Kind Word

Kind words are like nourishing water.

Words and music by Sarah Pirtle, ©2011, Discovery Center Music, BMI


One kind word will warm the coldest winter.

One kind word will start the seeds of spring.

One kind word will make a summer garden.

One kind word – what a harvest it will bring.

Production: Recorded at Rainbow Sounds Studio by Scott Sibley.

This song is included in the songbook from Peter Blood and Annie Patterson, Rise Again.

The Story Behind the Song: 

While leading a February Vacation Peace Camp in Leverett, Massachusetts, I passed by a poignant display. The elementary school had placed a sign on a placard in front of the school building that said: “One kind word can warm three winter months.” The phrase, “one kind word” encapsulated what we were learning together about building peace, and the pattern of the seasons were used to extend the thought the year around.

Hand Movements
Winter: Warm hands by rubbing.
Spring: One hand turned sideward represents the garden soil. Keep your thumb apart from other fingers, leaving space for the other hand to move from underneath and push through like a sprout.
Summer: Hands rise straight up with fingers like waving plants.
Autumn: Let hands fold like creating a cup or like the reeds that rose up have now fallen and are woven into a basket.

Garden of Kindness: For a bulletin board display of kind words, the Sanders Street Elementary School in Athol, MA created a “Garden of Kindness” on a wall for all the students to see when they walk to the cafeteria. At the bottom, a row of green paper represents grass and leaves. Children decorate flowers eight to twelve inches high and these are placed rising up from the green border. Then kind words are added by each flower.

Workshop recommendation: Leading this song with hand movements helps unify a group at the start.