I met with a friend for coffee last week at Kaizen. Across the roof of the spine of the Pataka (in Maori this means “store house of precious things”) were hundreds of prayer flags made by children.
It is a vibrantly colourful display featuring the simple wishes and prayers of children for love, family, peace, animal welfare, respect, acknowledging diversity and many attractive illustrations and symbols.
With all this collective energy good things must flow out to us all.
One of my children, now grown up, was given this collection of shells and seeds by a friend’s family from Playcentre.
They had contact with various scientists and were happy to gift us this array of treasures. The land snail shells are so colourful and inside each of these three are tiny classification details. Once upon a time they were part of a research study into creatures of my country.
The bright red and black seeds are a mystery to me.
With small children it was a time, back then, to examine and wonder, to observe the diversity of size and shape, to explore with very gentle touch and respect and to learn more about life on earth.
This small collection of treasures is important to me and one day I hope to share my enjoyment of them with my grandchildren.
It is graduation week in the family. On Monday I attended the graduation ceremony for my adult daughter as she received her recently gained qualification. She studied a course that is only provided by the Open Polytechnic so all her learning was via distance.
The venue on Monday was full of adults of all ages and stages who had somehow managed the incredible juggle of distance study, paid employment, family demands and the usual routines and requirements of every day living. To complete any academic qualification is a feat but to study alone brings even more challenges along the way.
Those of us who had stood alongside the students, supporting them as best we could, were well represented too and we clapped and cheered heartily as the ceremony progressed and the achievements were acknowledged.
Cameras clicked and flashed, a supper was offered to share after all the formalities were completed and we all had a very happy time. My father always said that studying was a burden at the time but the qualification was no weight to carry once achieved. There was evidence of lightness in the gathered crowd of graduates on Monday night.
On Friday this week I will attend another graduation. This time it is for my three year old grandson as he has completed his “Born to learn” programme under the Parents as First Teachers scheme.The invitation sets out an hour or more of fun activities, music, story time, presentation of certificates and a cake to cut. The programme that he and his parents were part of has been a rich mine of learning, sharing, relating and empowering. It has been a wonderful support to the new family, offering another strand in his development and bolstering the foundations of all learning through play.