Breathing in and breathing out in times of joy and sorrow
With emphasis in 2023 on ‘Well Being’ in our lives, our Glenaeon gardens on all three campuses have been responsive for visitors of all ages to feel nurtured as they contemplate the mysteries of life within. The students find health actively and passively by digging soil, harvesting flowers, planting seeds, caring for plants and animals and in serving each other garden herb tea and fresh wholesome food in a sociable manner.
Angst and sorrow was ours with the loss of the beloved teacher Jonas Stoebe in the last weeks of Term 3. We countered the confusion of grief by celebrating the joy his life gifted us, honouring the elements of earth, water, air and fire within the home base of our gardens.
We dug a pit for making a ton of new soil from compostables,
We made contained fires and burned sticks for ‘doughies’;
We stirred waters of biodynamic preparations for strengthening our atmosphere and soil and We sprayed each other with water hoses;
We harvested flowers and vegetables;
We sang, shared stories, laughed and cried;
We wrote poetry and letters too.
We swung on the hammock and the big swing,
We planted seeds for glorious gardens of the future while remembering Jonas, an inspiration to us all.
Our Middle Cove garden hosted many classes of students and groups of teachers day after day of this time. Science students tagged birds, English students wrote prose, art students sketched, Math students measured time, Earth stewardship students rejuvenated their camp experience. Every break time the stumps in the garden and surrounding rocks were covered with students convening. As we shared this communal season of grief, the garden responded by making a ‘welcome home’ for us. Together, we accepted, we grew, and we healed: wiser and stronger in our openness and resilience to the mysteries of life.
How grateful we are that Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School honours the importance of cultivated gardens as a place to be, and as a place to be motivated to help. How fortunate we are to have a place to embrace the elements all and to be nourished by their powerful ways too. Like all living organisms, the gardens flourish with human activity and interest. Please contact S.Frain@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au if you would like to visit the gardens or volunteer with the Glenaeon gardens and animal care teams.
Celtic Blessing honouring the elements as sung by Year 8 ‘in the garden’.
Deep peace of the running waves to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Sandra Frain (and Parent Garden Volunteers)