The Art of Celebration: Celebrating ‘the usual things’

It’s late and I’m tired and I’ve work to do, but I have promised to practise the art of celebration here each day so I’m showing up, but this will be brief!

Today I was a parent helper on a school trip to the beach. I love the beach so that part was always going to be good, but the trip was going to take all day, and the coach journey was long and winding and multiple children were ill on the way. I was tired this morning and sat on the coach wondering why I was using my day in this way.

We got to the beach and there were the usual things. Sand, sea, stones, shells, seaweed. But they weren’t the usual things to everyone because quite a few of the children had never been to the seaside before. We stood on the wet sand and a little boy asked me what it was. He had only ever played with dry sand in sandpits and he didn’t realise that the greyish, wet, solid, pebble and shell infused mass beneath his feet was also sand.

Another child told me he wasn’t coming to paddle in the sea. It turned out that he had no understanding of what that meant and so he didn’t think he could do it. As it happened he was a very competent paddler.

The sea was warm and the children loved it.

Seaweed amazed them, and they were relieved to find that no one got cross when they had sand on their feet.

I had forgotten how beautiful and astonishing our world is. To experience sea, sand, seaweed for the first time is an incredible joy. To experience them for the hundredth or thousandth time is also an incredible joy.

so I’m celebrating the usual things today.



2 thoughts on “The Art of Celebration: Celebrating ‘the usual things’

  1. So much goodness here … There was a year where I volunteered as a resident writer at an elementary school, teaching poetry and such for an hour once a week. I remember coming home after each session EXHAUSTED by kid-energy, but also amazes by how different the world suddenly looked. I always say now that children are natural surrealists, comfortable with porous ideas of reality, capable of finding wonder all over. It’s a good thing for the soul to see. 🙂


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