By: Sarah Ortmann
The other morning I sat quietly at the door and greeted the children with a handshake and a smile. Some children immediately chose their work while other children greeted their friends as they arrived. My eyes quickly focused on an older child who, after greeting me, walked over to the flower arranging table. His hands gently touched the petals of the colorful bouquet in the large purple vase. The light touch of his fingertips displayed a true respect for the delicate flowers and his deep gaze studied the uniqueness of each blossom.
I greeted a few more children and looked back over to see the child had already put on his apron, walked over to the sink to fill up the large pitcher and poured the water in the deep purple bowl. His hand skimmed over the selection of small vases until he chose the perfect one. He moved the small clear vase close to him on the table and poured only a little water into it through a funnel. Once his vase was prepared he reached across the table to the rainbow colored bouquet and pulled out a large stem containing multiple yellow flowers.
I continued to watch from a distance as he cut and arranged a grouping of three different colored flowers in the small vase. He picked up his arrangement with a lace doily beneath it and looked around the room. Slowly, so not to spill a single drop of water, he walked over to a large table and placed the vase in the top right corner. A small smile crossed his face as he briskly walked back over to the flower arranging table. He continued to make 3 more flower arrangements, each time placing them in a location of his choice around the room. When he felt his work was done, he dried off the table and replaced the used materials so that the activity would be ready for the next person.
I smiled to myself as I took a moment to take in all the beauty around me. The child’s concentration while carrying out the activity of his choice warmed my heart, his love of work shined in every action, his desire to care for the environment inspired him to repeat the activity multiple times, and the flower arrangements themselves provided aesthetically pleasing works of art for all to enjoy. Each day since then I have made the conscious effort to stop and smell the flowers that fill the room and truly appreciate the environment that the children care for with such love everyday.
As Camille Pissarro said, “Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.” How blessed I am to spend everyday witnessing such beautiful moments, surrounded by so many beautiful people in such a beautiful place. I hope you also allow yourself to take the time to observe and appreciate all of the beautiful moments and things in your life, no matter how simple or small.