Back Stories

Last Friday was a big step for our Seed community to begin spending time together again.  Our tie-dye and tile painting event was a huge success on several levels.  It had been two years since we’d held the event, and it took us awhile with the tie-dye part to pull everything together.  The night before I woke up at 2:13 AM thinking about bottles.  I realized we needed to fill them sooner than later when I arrived at school.  As a result, we discovered we were short a couple dozen bottles because many of the previously used ones were leaky and had been discarded.  There were a couple hours of tense waiting, as one staff member headed out to stores in search of tie-dye bottles.  What a relief when she returned with a good supply, which was quickly filled with colorful dyes.  

As Friday unfolded, we soon reached the moment when parents started arriving.  The first load of shirts was laid out on the table to be dyed.  Between 3 and 3:30 it was a bit challenging until the staff was freed up from classroom and pickup duties.  That’s when the event kicked into high gear.

A few staff members signed up for specific roles to support tie-dye or tile painting and definitely fulfilled their commitments throughout the event.  What surprised me in an overwhelming way was how everyone else also showed up and filled in where needed, many of them remaining till well after darkness fell and families had gone.  As I watched staff guide families through the tie-dye process, set them up to paint tiles, squeeze excess soda ash from shirts, and clean out leftover bottles of dye, I was struck by the thought that each of them (us) had a back story.  Despite physical challenges, reckoning with personal losses and grieving, grappling with the stress and anxiety of these times, and other demands of life on Planet Earth, they showed up and gave their best selves to the situation at hand.  I felt immensely proud of each and every one of them.  

I also thought of the back stories of our families, and all they’ve been through the past year and a half, as I observed many walking around our playground for the first time.  It was overwhelming to receive so much appreciation for our Seed community, and to witness the staff’s efforts to give families such a positive first larger event in almost two years.  We still have a long way to go in learning to live with Covid-19.  Future community events will rest on the success of this first one so full of color and light.   

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