Friday, April 19, 2013

Springtime Impressions from El Jardin del Paraiso

"How beautiful!" from Miss Elea

How beautiful it is outside now with many colorful flowers blooming and wonderful springtime activity to observe.

Today on our walk we saw two large robins swooping and chasing each other up into trees and down into the grass, and just last week the children came running to Ms. Meaghan and I, full of excitement over a large garden snail that they had discovered in the wheelbarrow. They gently transported him to the lid of their "soup pot" (a large covered barrel), and gave him leaves and flower petals to climb on while they watched him feel his way along. A few days before, they turned over a large rock and were delighted and amazed to find a whole colony of ants busily making their way to and fro.

On Thursday we had another planting day (in place of our regular painting day) and I was touched to see how quietly and reverently the children watched and waited for a turn spooning soil into the peat pots and holding out a hand to receive a few tiny herb seeds to plant. One of the children really expressed the mood of the room when he sighed contentedly and said "I love planting, don't you?" Our little seeds have already begun to sprout and when they have grown strong enough, we will transplant them into our school plot at the garden, where they can receive rain and sunshine and continue growing until they are hopefully large enough to harvest over the summer!

This past Friday, when our garden time corresponded with a torrential downpour, the children happily formed a little line of friends and adventured together up and down the stone-lined pathway that winds like a creek down to the pond, replenishing it with fresh water in the summertime heat. One six-year-old boy from Ms. Greta's class took over the impressive task of building a slate bridge over a narrow place in the pond, and the others watched, fascinated by his strength and ingenuity. We watched the wind blowing the rain across the surface of the water in ripples while the fish swam underneath and the turtles hid deep in the mud, waiting for a warmer day to climb out onto logs and rocks to enjoy the sunshine.

For just a few short weeks each year, we are surrounded with color: purple hyacinth, pink hydrangea, dark pink and white cherry blossoms, yellow and gold forsythia and daffodils, sweet little purple pansies, and elegant red tulips. Already many blossoms are in full bloom and will soon give way to the fresh green leaves which are just beginning to come forth on the trees. How joyful it is to experience the glory of spring and to share it with children, and how grateful I am for springtime and the beauty of the earth in every season!