Building Together

building gym2The theme was aptly chosen — “Building Together” in honour of the new gym being built outside of our school doors. As a title for a celebration of those whose volunteer support in the school makes a difference to what we can do for our students it was a fitting way to merge the two ways of building. But for the committee, it was even more aptly named.

The four of us stayed after school decorating the walls for the volunteer tea at school the next day. Our committee had been working together for a few weeks. It had been one of those experiences where you didn’t mind the work involved because we all got along well and were willing to hear each other’s ideas. No one minded lending a hand where needed. Where other teaching commitments interfered with some job for one, the rest stepped in.

The person who took leadership of the group and I were talking just before heading home. Both of us acknowledged what a joy it was to work in a committee like ours. She made a comment about how different it was from working with a committee where people felt so committed to their own agenda that it was hard to enjoy a feeling of shared effort. She called such people “head strong”. I responded by saying I guessed our committee would be called “heart strong” then.

It really has been a pleasure getting to use my visual arts creativity to come up with ideas for this tea. I was able to teach someone else how to make an invitation with a computer program as well. It was great to be able to value the different gifts and talents we brought together. For the first time in a long time, I felt like I could just let go and be who I was when working with a group of adults.

My mindful gift today is the teamwork with heart-strong people. It is a busy time of year for me and this “attitude of gratitude” in the committee made a real difference in the amount of stress this added committed carried.

The Sun in Her Hands, Photo Collage, L.J. Andres

The Sun in Her Hands, Photo Collage, L. J. Andres



In honour of my writing friend, Rod, I am going to carry my “attitude of gratitude”a bit further and start an A-Z list of things to feel grateful for. He is posting on gratitude this month and asked us for ideas.

Here is to you, my friend, from another place in my life where “heart-strong” people meet together on line to encourage each other’s writing.

Today’s Alphabet of Gratitude (To be added to at will)

A – Aerodynamics, Animals, Appreciation, Alliances, Adults
B – Beauty, Baskets, Babies, Brevity, Brooks, Blue, Black, Biology, Breath, Beaches, Benches
C – Children, courage, Clouds, Chemistry, Closets, Chinese Food, Chairs, Chopsticks, Collage
D – Determination, Delight, Diversity, Darkness,
E – Eagles, Eagerness, Equity, Evaluations, Events
F – French immersion, Faith, Fingers, Fragility, Fire, Freezers, Flowers, Friends, Fruit, Family, Fragrance
G – Grandchildren, Gifts, Green, Guitars
H – Happenstance, Happiness, Humility, Honesty, Humour, Hammers, Hills, Home
I – Idiosyncrasies, Imagination, Internet, Investigation
J – Jokes, Jumping, Jam, Journals, Journeys
K – Kids, Kites, Kitchen sinks
L – Life, Love, Laughter, Leaves, Legumes, Light
M – Mindfulness, Magnets, Music, Mountains, Magnets
N – Nature, Nurturing, Names, Nuts (Almonds and Pecans especially), Nonsense
O – Opinions, Openings, Operations, Obligations, Orange, Omega 3
P – Potential, Possibility, Perseverance, Pink, Peaches, Provinces, Providence, Provisions. Painting, Playing, Patience, Perspective, Peanut Butter, Pencils, Pens, Paper, Plumbing, Pictures
Q – Quirks, Quests, Quiet, Questions
R – Rest, Recorders, Respect, Rain, Rainbows, Rivers, Refrigerators, Resonance, Resourcefulness
S – Students, Spring, Serendipity, Streams, Storage. Sorbeto, Support, Softness, Sleep, Songs
T – Tenaciousness, Tenderness, Teaching, Truth, Theatre, Trees
U – Unguarded moments, Umbrellas, Undergrowth
V – Volunteers, Vacations, Victories, Vegetables
W – World, Writing, Wisdom, Water, Weariness, White
X – Xylophones, The X (an amusement park one week a year in my town),
Y – Yarn, Yard, Yams, Yellow, Yearning, Yawns
Z – Zoos, Zaniness, Zeal,




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