Monday, November 22, 2010

A Garden for Ann...a sacred space

I had such a special morning today.
I was invited to my favourite school
for the blessing of a memory garden.
Ann, loved Deputy Principal and dear friend died of cancer earlier this year
and the school has built a special garden of remembrance.

I felt very honoured to be part of the powhiri and blessing.
There is always a special warmth and aroha about this school.

Just look at Whaia Mihi, a loved semi-retired teacher, with the children.
 It is six years since I left this school and retired from teaching.
The children I knew have moved on, but the spirit of the school is the same.
When I arrived Mihi grabbed my arm and said
"we're not manuhiri (visitors), we don't have to be welcomed on"
and we snuck in the back and sat with the children and staff.

The garden includes giant chess
and a zen sandpit..
a quiet garden with beautiful trees that have grown so big since I began teaching
at the school on Foundation Day 1988.

In a quiet corner there is a special sculpture to honour Ann.
The koru patterns represent nurturing and aroha and learning,
and the school motto
"Give them wings that they may fly"
It was such a happy morning.
Kevin and Ann created a very special school and my years there were very special.

The men in the mine were remembered during the blessing too.
We all feel such sadness for the families waiting.
Our country is small with a population of 4 million .
At times like this we feel very connected.


  1. Oh, Joan, such a beautiful and meaningful tribute to your friend Ann. How she must have touched the lives of many children, as well as those she worked with. The sculpture looks so lovely and the patterns so evocative of Ann. I thank you for sharing these pictures and thoughts here, Joan.

  2. Beautiful garden to remember a special lady. The garden was still being worked on when we were at the school on Wednesday and the sculpture was under wraps.

  3. What a beautiful tribute to a woman who obviously touched lots of hearts and souls.

    Keeping positive thoughts and hopes and prayers for the miners and their families.

  4. Lovely -- what a perfect memorial.

  5. Lovely memorial and tribute to your friend. The school sounds like a special place where children are greatly appreciated and nurtured. How wonderful that both you and Ann were a part of that.

  6. What a beautiful sculpture and memory garden at the school for a special principal!