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November 23, 2011

Unlimited Schooling

The school year draws to a close.
Bryony's class-mates from the Rangiora Hub,
(of displaced city school, Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti)
gathered at Ashley today for an end of year party, even though there is another three weeks of school left for the junior students.

There were photos taken on Elwin's Christmas steps
(that's another story).

There was hide and seek in Secret places I never venture into!

There was music-making and chilling-out,

while Father Christmas discussed policy with the Outdoor Education officer.

There was even some real work done:
transferring my hard drive!

Family cherubs know their place and it is one of belonging.

There were Secret Santa gifts - preferably home-made,
value no more than $2.

So much thought and care went into so many of them.
Bryony made the little doll above,

and Zea hand-tooled the binding for this traveller's journal for me.

And of course there was food!

As the students and their teachers and parents
gathered up their plates and presents to leave,
it began to rain... gently.

And I am touched by the softness of their presence.
These children with their inclusiveness of one another,
their care and attention to detail,
their understanding of how to make an occasion memorable,
their respect and appreciation for others - and for the efforts of others.

I had not expected this to be more than a busy chatter
of a morning,
with cheap, joke gift-giving a bit early for Christmas
and food gobbled and gone.

Instead I feel that I have just had Christmas Day.


Sisters of the Blog said...

How lovely!

I awoke to snow this morning, the wet, heavy kind, and decided to clear the 4-6 inches (10-15 cm)that were already down and a second shovelling session later in the day.

The ploughs had been by a few times, and i knew the big pile at the bottom of the driveway was going to require substantial effort. I started with the top of the drive, and with about a third done, a young man driving a truck with a plough on it asked if he could push the snow at the bottom of the drive for me. I said yes, and was so grateful. An older man in the passenger's seat waved, and in a few minutes, all the snow was pushed off, easily saving me an hour's work.

They drove off with a wave, i thanked them and hoped that Father Christmas is indeed very good to them this year. It felt like an early Christmas present for me.


Jeneane said...

Megan, you bring snow to my Christmas Day! Oh the Unlimited potential of the Blogosphere :-)

Thanks so much for dropping in and sharing your seasonal joy in your fellow beings.

Steve said...

It looks like it was a wonderful occasion. Peace and contentment comes across from every photo.

the cuby poet said...

What a beautiful day. I am not intending spending a great deal on pressies this year but intend to give home made,good second hand
from charity shops or ebay, or locally produced.My friends and I have an agreement!:)

John Gray said...

that group shot is quite special isnt it?

Jeneane said...

Steve: I'm glad you picked up that feeling. It was very tangible.

The Cuby Poet: I think that you and your friends will have a great time choosing and giving and receiving from each other. It seems to me that this agreement idea makes people more creative and the pleasure is multiplied many-fold with the understanding of the effort that has gone into the choosing or making.

John Gray: We filled the steps! There is often a commemorative photo taken of visitors on the Christmas Steps but not often this big a group.
The Christmas Steps? They came about the first year that Mowbray (LMSG 15 May 2011)was here. Wanting to access that cool glade under the willow tree for Christmas picnics, was the incentive for Elwin to build the steps. Till then the veranda hung disconnected from the garden, over a raw building site.

Being Me said...

Oh it looks simply beautiful. Love the little doll and its instructions! What beautiful souls going out into the world, hey?

Jeneane said...

They are indeed. I didn't expect a 17 year old to get excited about a class Christmas party, but Bryony couldn't sleep for excitement the night before. Mind you she stayed up late making that doll!

Anonymous said...

It truly felt like Christmas for me! I couldn't contain my excitement, checking out the window every 5 minutes to see if they were there yet :D It was lovely, wasn't it Mummy

Jeneane said...

Indeed it was, my not-so-little elf :-)

Owen said...

Quite a beautiful gathering... music, santa suits, good cheer...

(now don't mind me, I'm just going to be quite like a mouse and nibble a cupcake or two before I slip back out...)

Jeneane said...

You are welcome to cup-cake: there were a few spare presents in the basket too for unexpected callers:-) I wonder what you would have thought of one joke gift - a bottle of yellow ? for a teacher who regales his students with stories of Paris including the smell of the Metro!