Column of Joy
TLC, The Learning Community has moved! - From Evergreen into the Pre-Creche space, the new Base Camp for the ever expanding school.
This year there are 25 students, doubled from last year.
This is Sarah’s and her younger sister Claire’s first year at TLC. Sarah is 10.
“The first day everyone brought their most precious object. We put them into the middle of the circle creating a really beautiful mandala! Then we all sang around the mandala. We said our name and what we wanted to bring to TLC. I said ‘Joyful’. A lot of kids said joy, joyful, fun, being happy.”
Parents, teachers and students all pitch in to create their new space. “You could choose from different tasks like cooking with the Ammas, cleaning books, painting [the walls] and breaking the slide.” Her Dad, Joerg, continues, “It was a lot of physical work to break it down and take the rubble away, but it was great! You could really feel the team spirit, everyone was really motivated, willing to help, and enthusiastic. There was a lot of action – you don’t see that so often.”
The week’s work culminated in a giant potluck banquet with dozens of dishes to savour. Jo brought her own unique treat, bread on a stick.
You spear the dough and hold it over the crackling fire. This requires diligence and patience, holding it neither too close nor too far from the flame. You could end up eating either warm dough or burnt toast! This is a major sleep over - the large compound is peppered with tents, stories around the candles, the elixir of joy flowing freely and kids running around screaming with glee.
Johnny is in the middle of a tale about wombats. Foster runs up to Johnny, out of breath. “Johnny, tell Fester to stop bugging me!” Johnny shouts into the darkness, “Fester, stop bugging Foster!” (Names changed to protect the innocent!) Foster continues, “He’s really annoying!”
It is pitch black and the other kid on the other side of the compound probably doesn’t even hear, but Johnny shouts with bemused authority, “You’re really annoying!” Problem solved. Squabble dealt with - for now. In this school Johnny’s proclamation is law! He resumes his wombat story.
Eventually the joyful disorder subsides. One by one they all bed down in their tents and mosquito nets, the forest breathing with them, quiet and warm, all united in the team spirit of our dream mandala.
“Communal life must necessarily have a discipline so that the weaker are not bullied by the stronger; and this discipline must be
respected by all those who want to live in that community.
But for the community to be happy, this discipline should be set by the most broad-minded person or persons, if possible the person or persons who are conscious of the Divine Presence and are surrendered to it.” On Education - Mother
With the love and the elixir of joy flowing freely,
Hamish and Fif
News & Notes 27th July 2013