Friday, June 19, 2009

Winter Festival

This evening we attended darling daughter's school for their Winter Festival. In the middle of our third winter season in Australia it does actually feel like winter for a change, even though I think there will always be a part of me that ridicules the idea that I want to wear boots and two pairs of socks in 15° C! It's equally ridiculous that the temperature is around 30° C at Christmas... but I guess there's nothing to be done except acclimatise, and that is what I appear to be doing.

The teachers worked very hard to make beautiful spirals of foliage and flowers on the classroom floors, and the children managed almost an hour of silence as each in turn collected and lit a small lantern and walked in order of age through the spiral, placing their lanterns at intervals. We adults sat in the dark, watching them as they walked through the ceremony, marvelling at how little they talked and how beautiful it was.

The start of the evening was a procession of all the children in the school with lanterns they'd made, walking from one end of the school buildings to the other, singing as they went. Returning to their own classrooms they strung their lanterns up and then we all watched some very skilful flame-throwing. I was amused to see that the female in the trio was none other than Sally, a woman who joined the school's Board at the same time as me. There's a world of difference between Sally (efficient, organised, professional and fun in our long Board meetings) and Sally the flamethrower, hoola-hooping with a ring of fire and nonchalantly rotating a flaming ball around her body and along her arms... I'll look at her differently next time we sit down and consider the previous meetings' minutes, I can tell you!

It was a lovely evening, if a little bit long. Darling daughter is asleep as I write this and husband and I are packing for his departure to Europe early tomorrow morning. I can't help feeling a little bereft in anticipation of his absence, but I'm thinking positive, I have a full diary while he's away and I am gearing myself up for some serious WORK.

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