Pictures and Gratitude
I have been looking at photographs of our Community Clean Up a few weeks ago, and have been struck by how much meaning is hidden behind the images. There are several photos of children and their adults weeding our brick pathway that had become gridded with deep green moss and grass. What isn’t expressed in the photos is the gratitude one father expressed at being able to spend time engaged and alone with his son in this project. It became a sort of meditation for them. Another picture of a parent scraping between bricks reminds me of the first time I met him at a Community Clean Up four years ago. I was struck then by the way he described the clean-up work we were doing as “an invitation to make something more beautiful,” and I can't help noticing with gratitude that he has been dedicated to our community for so many years, showing up time after time to these events.
There are photos of new Randolph parents and children painting our playground shed, the child intent on their work at the base of the structure while the grown up stretches over them to work on the top. Others show children playing in a group on the play structure, totally self-regulating themselves and never needing adult guidance or intervention. There are people eating at a table filled with food brought in by the community, and others sifting through piles of shirts, pants, and coats (and more!) at the clothing swap organized by parents in the Great Room. A garbage dumpster is filled with old shelving and desiderata dragged out by a group of teachers from the shed behind the Carriage House, giving us back a wonderfully cleaned out and refreshed storage space. A set of other photos show some long-time Randolph parents whose oldest children had just graduated last year, but whose youngest are making their way through the Upstairs program now. The parents were grinning with paint brushes in hand as they helped make their children’s hallways (and bathrooms!) glisten with fresh white paint.
Our outdoor and indoor spaces feel fresh and vibrant thanks to the loving commitment of our community. Our walkway looks like it got a haircut, and our playground shed is a beautiful sky blue and purple, with a brand new base constructed by a parent. Our storage space can breathe again, and our upstairs hallways seem to have never known the smear of a child’s hand or the scuff of a boot. That will change soon! I thank everyone of you who came out and accepted the invitation to make something more beautiful. You succeeded grandly!