A Special Table

July 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

Years ago, when my eldest son had just begun to attend the local Steiner school, I took Samuel to a Steiner Playgroup run by a good friend of mine.

As part of her preparations for the endeavour, she made a special table and bench seats: large enough for a group of ten or twelve children (and their mothers) to sit around, sturdy, and beautiful. In those days I admired the role of a Steiner Playgroup Leader immensely – the special connection forged with each individual child, the creativity, the stories brought to life, and the role modelling provided to younger or less experienced mothers.

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I used to dream of being all of that, and now, ten or so years later, I am (I hope) all of that, and even more. My friend kept this beautiful table of hers after she finished the Playgroup, using it at home. I knew, one day, that she would choose to sell it on, and was determined to be that person – mostly because I just loved the table. I had no ideas of starting my own Playgroup when she finally decided to let it go.

The table is bigger than any other I have owned. Perfect, as it turns out, for my large sized family. The first few nights of eating at this table felt amazing: a new sense of harmony was present in the room. All seven of us fit around the table with ease.

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And when it inevitably became obvious that starting a Playgroup was a no-brainer for me, I already had the most important element: the table. The table is where we gather, we commune, and we communicate. A table of beauty gives something to the people sitting – a vibe, or creative inspiration, or simply a good feeling inside.

Every time I look at this table I think of my friend – my beautiful friend who continues to inspire me as she did way back when. I remember all the baking and eating I did at this table with other mothers and their children: the happiness that was present then. And I think of the new memories I am making with this table – with my own family, and now with a new group of Playgroup families who join me each week to bake, eat and connect.

Every time I look at this table my heart soars.

 

A new Venture

July 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

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For the past few weeks, I have been busily preparing for my newest venture.

Toys and precious hand made items have been re-found, after sometimes years in storage. Fabric has been cut, dyed, and sewn: into aprons of course! And the house has been subject to a major de-clutter and premature spring cleaning.

This week saw the first day of the Gaia Playgroup. Eight little children came to my home (well, two of the eight were my own children!) with their mothers, and played, baked bread, sang, and scampered after our guinea pigs.

For five years I have run the Playgroup attached to the Steiner school my children attend – it was a glorious experience – a little job that nourished me as much as the families who attended. A role that I held through the births of two babies. I am so thankful for all the skills and awareness that role gave me. The songs, stories, and rhythm that is so natural to me now as breathing – elements that I can trust, and fall back on, as I embrace the little bit of fear that comes with now launching my own brand of Playgroup.

With five children, the eldest now fifteen, I have realised that maybe I do have some experience or wisdom to share with others. And more recently, I have come to the conclusion that it is necessary to share one’s gifts with the world. It is such a privelige to be a part of the life of a child in early childhood, and to be there as a model, or inspiration, or sounding board for their mother.

This week the beginnings were humble. There is so much more I want to do, so many more details to include, so many stories to tell. I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.

 

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