Orange You Glad…….

One of my very favourite things to do is to make art with school children.  Here, a group of 4 & 5 year olds are discovering the colour orange by mixing red and yellow and painting pumpkins.  But the rule is:  no mixing the paint in the pot. No, no, no! After learning how to draw a biiiiiig pumpkin, the children filled in the pumpkins with yellow paint.   The magic happened when they put a little red on top of the yellow.  Their reaction?  Priceless!  

More orange! Weekly Photo Challenge

A Light in the Window

Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness – Chinese Proverb


It’s a dark, wet, gloomy night….after a dark, wet, windy, gloomy day.  We are presently under the influence of a “stalled nor’easter”, just the kind of weather that makes you want to stay in bed.

Lucky for me, though, I was scheduled to spend the day with 20 five-year olds as their substitute teacher. No outside play today, due to the weather. But we got along cheerfully anyway, with songs and stories, with crafts and hugs.  Lots of hugs.

Its a brand new school, designed to be “green”, and very energy efficient.  The large windows usually allow us to get by, happily, without (or with a minimum use of) the overhead lights.

But, today it was so dark.

I was compelled to keep the lights on.  And when I did flick the switch off as we left the room to go to the library, the darkness was punctuated by the glow of the the fairy lights on the class christmas tree.  That made for a very cosy place to return to with our fresh library books.

Even though it was only mid-afternoon, it was still raining when I drove home. As I dogged puddles and potholes (no way of knowing just how deep those bad boys are!), and with an eye on the overflowing ditches, I caught sight of a house in which a single candle was lit in the kitchen window.  No other lights were on. A signal of hope, I thought.  A sign of welcome.

What a warm sight, that little light, on a dark day.

Kindness Day!

When I arrived at school today, the children enthusiastically informed me that today is a special day.  The children are 4-6 year olds, and I am their substitute teacher.  They knew that I was out of the loop when they saw I wasn’t wearing yellow.  EVERYONE was wearing yellow today, because yellow is such a happy colour, of course!  

“How do we celebrate Kindness Day?”, I asked. Well!  We talked about kindness, we wrote about kindness and we drew happy pictures of ourselves on bright yellow paper….and then hung them in the hall for everyone to see.

The enthusiasm for love and kindness is easy to tap into at this age.  The purest expression came when, while in line and enroute to the cafeteria for lunch.  One little girl approached a much older student (adolescent) that she did not know…and gave her a big hug.  When the confused older kid wondered who the child was and why she was hugged, another teacher said, “That was an act of kindness.  Pay it forward”.  That older student smiled, turned and walked to join her classmates. 

It was just that kind of a day….filled with charming reminders of humanity at its most innocent best.  I left the school feeing blessed and hopeful.

In the car, on my way home, I heard the announcement that the great humanitarian, poet, author, and activist, Dr. Maya Angelou had passed away today at the age of 86.  What a tremendous loss, I thought.  And yet, how wonderful  and appropriate that in our little corner of the world, today is Kindness Day.