Let your eyes rest on something completely “ordinary” in the natural world. As you look, the beauty and delicacy of what you are seeing you will reveal itself to you. There is so much gloriously ordinary beauty in everyday life; seeing that, restores us to ourselves. Stephanie Dowrick
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.
Do you have such treasures tucked away?
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.
I regularly use this phrase “I love to get the juice out of things.” But what do I mean by that?
For me it is about looking deeper, looking wider and looking again.
It might be “getting the juice” out of producing a good crop of garlic. It might be after I’ve seen a movie or attended a concert or meeting.
Sometimes the “juice” might be new learning; sometimes it might be new understanding: sometimes it might be more questions or puzzles to think on and other times new responses or feelings.
The endless possibilities that might arise from “getting the juice” are a really attractive part of this process for me and helps feed the naturally very curious part of me.
I see in the newspaper this morning that it is International Literacy Day.
“Adult and Community Education Aotearoa is encouraging people to engage in Random Acts of Reading today to celebrate the written word and acknowledge the importance of global literacy.”
I had been planning to post the question “What is your favourite word?” so today seems a good day to post such a question.
I love words, playing with words, making up words, having fun with words, completing word puzzles and reading words.
I don’t have just one favourite word but a word I am enjoying right now is “vex” in all its forms….
What is your favourite word today?
I’ve had a week that has taken me away from blogging and even from reading very much but here is a quote that I want to share today because I love books and all they offer to me:
For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die. – Anne Lamott