Saturday, May 8, 2010

Days of Creation...working with young gentle spirits...

Friday wore me out mainly due to the heat ...85 degrees and on the second floor of a small Catholic school and no air conditioning. I arrived at St. Francis at eight in the morning and met with the mothers who organized our breakfast and the daily schedule for three sessions of teaching and a final event of an assembly with poetry, hip-hop dancing and a death defying martial arts demonstration...including sharp swords and slicing cucumbers ...all while blind folded. I brought way too much to the small new quilts, story telling and narrative quilts. music by Natalie Merchant and each student received a six inch square and they could create a colorful flower of their choice to stitch with cotton flosses and embellish with buttons...sound familiar? We made a small circle of the desks so I could move freely to each small artist to assist in loosening small knots...threading the needles...that proved to be very difficult for many students. I bought the needles with the largest eyes but many had never even sewn a button on but with my assisting volunteer mother and my dear friend Kelly we were free to get around to give each student the added attention and the session went by too quickly. The boys were just as creative and encouraged each other when they were choosing the right colors to give to their Mothers for Mother's Day. I have been out of elementary school since 1968 but things looked Oh so familiar...the arrangement of the classrooms, self contained teacher centers for each grade, the bathrooms were in a time warp for sure, the pope was in almost every room, Saints and blessings were easily identified with their prayers and affirmations. The students were quiet and free to wear comfortable clothes...tees and shorts for most instead of the recommended uniforms. But the greatest attribute was the politeness and kindness these children demonstrated during the whole day. The heat was very difficult for me and I remained very RED most of the afternoon and tried to keep hydrated but to be honest I was a wee bit embarrassed by how much I was sweating. I loved being with these young spirits and when they gather in two years again I know already how to improve the time flow. Afterward Kelly invited me over to have a cold lime water and fresh cold orange slices on her front porch. She shared her intimate studio nest upstairs and her weaving loom and beautiful yarns plus her work stations ...I was in total heaven. Her guardian Maggie is a rescued pup from the pound and just has about much love as she has wags in her tail. She sat down on the porch to protect us from possible groundhog raids and circled us whenever we get up to move around to admire the gardens, the strawberries, the hops growing up vines for later exploration. Andy and Kelly are a wonderful young industrious couple and every parent would be proud to have them in their hearts and families. Andy teaches at OSU and studies spiders and other insects ...he also participates in our local theater group and supports the Arts in our county. Kelly just received her PhD in counseling and works for our local mental health facilities in our area. I so enjoyed spending the day with her once again and will try to do it again real soon. I came home and went to bed and stayed there until this morning. I was exhausted but it was a good exhaustion...teachers work incredibly hard to make the most of each day with there students. Have a great weekend and Happy Mother's Day rock the cradle of the world with the love you gave your young spirits. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart


    Here is a special quote for you on this fine day:
    "I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.:...Abraham Lincoln
    Blessings to you, Lennie

  2. Happy Mother's Day! How wonderful to work with children. I love their excitement and willingness to try new things. They all look so cute, great pictures. I don't know how you even moved in that heat. I melt at 85. 72 is a little warm for me. lol I complain about the cold but I guess I'm really a cold weather girl.
    Her home sounds wonderful and of course Maggie sounds wonderful. Rest and enjoy your day. :)Bea

  3. Have a wonderful Mother's are a blessing to all!!