Friday, February 1, 2013

News from the Garden in Winter

Recent Garden Impressions:

The mere thought of playing in the garden these days has been motivation enough for the entire class to run (ok, more like trot) along the sidewalk as we approach the gate. “Gaarr-den, gaarrden, gaarden!”, the children chant and we take off, like a hive of bees, toward our destination. Once we get the lock open and the children’s mitten’s unencumbered by their loops, I set them free and at long-last these citified children go off to play in an exceptional natural environment. It is always in the garden when I think to myself: I can’t believe this is my job. What a life!

One seemingly sanguine little girl runs over to me and pulls my mittened hand to a corner of the garden where she’s spotted a cardinal looking for food near the pond. She overflows with excitement and wonder, and it is in this moment that I truly understand the notion of reverence. She tells me that cardinals do not fly away to somewhere warm in winter, and once again I find myself learning from the youngest teachers I’ve ever known. The next day, a little boy begs me to take him to the turtle pond to see the ice. To these winter-deprived children the site of ice seems to be the most mystifying thing. “ICE! ICE!!!”, they shout out on our walk. “Look, there’s a cup frozen in there!!” one boy exclaims. It takes me a moment to calibrate my amazement; even in the thoughtless discarding of another’s garbage, the children can experience the majesty of the natural laws of the universe. Now, on to figure out how goldfish survive under the ice...

*Greta Jee