It was a perfect amount of wind for our new gratitude flags. On our feast day they first hung on the fence near the playground entrance. Now they fly over Gwen’s Castle. Our feast day was blessed with delicious food, friendly families and wonderful weather. The flags added a colorful touch to an already cheerful day.
Each year we do an all-school project to remind ourselves to be grateful for what we have at the Seed and beyond. It was a gratitude tree last year and we made a Thanksgiving alphabet before that. Our new batch of flags served multiple purposes, not the least of which was to add some lively colors to Gwen’s Castle. The flags are filled with sweet and thoughtful messages as well as a few that are quite funny. Gratitude for family and the Seed family, gardens and flowers, awesome kids and teachers, brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents, the sun and clear water, human kindness, America and Arizona’s natural beauty were among the more popular ones mentioned. Coffee, sushi, ice cream, cheese, Cheerios, cars, beds, and butter were some that made me smile. I was particularly entertained by the wordless cartoonish drawing of a rabbit family. Here are a few of the more touching ones:
• As a single mom I am thankful that the Seed was there to help me raise my son.
• I’m thankful for all the books and words we have at the Seed.
• I’m grateful to be alive and FEEL alive.
• I’m grateful for a place that keeps me safe, well loved, and part of the community. The Seed is all that and more!
On Monday when I went out to the castle to photograph the flags, there was one that stood out among the others. It was written by Gwen’s parents and reads like this: “We are grateful for our four years with our beloved Gwen…The Queen of the Castle.” Their message shifted my perspective of gratitude into a whole different dimension. As it turned out, I’d spent a significant amount of time at the feast talking with them about how to keep Gwen’s story alive and relevant to future children at the Seed who didn’t know Gwen. http://www.awakeningseedschool.org/2011/04/a-castle-for-gwen/
We agreed to keep talking about it and come up with a plan. It made me reflect on my personal commitment to keeping her story as a living part of the Seed history. I’m still formulating my thoughts and know that all of this is available to remind us about the preciousness of family, community and love. A girl with that kind of story deserves to be queen of a castle.