Saturday, April 13, 2013

Leaf Washing 2 - Botany for the Elderly

This woman's love for this work is palpable. I can feel her joy when I stand near her as she cares for the plants. I invite you to view these photos, watch this short video and to feel that joy also. Yet, too, she has a deeply felt connection to the plants and feels that they are God's creations.  She feels, and you can see it in the expressions on her face and in her posture, she is in service to the plants, to their care and well being. She apologized to one of the plants when she accidentally tore one of its leaves and had to remove it. She said she was sorry that she caused it harm. Her conduct recalls Christina Rossetti's famous poem:

Hurt No Living Thing

Hurt no living thing:
Ladybird, nor butterfly,
Nor moth with dusty wing,
Nor cricket chirping cheerily,
Nor grasshopper so light of leap,
Nor dancing gnat, nor beetle fat,
Nor harmless worms that creep.

While she was digging into the center of the plant to ensure that she had gotten every leaf, she came across a lovely surprise:

After a moment or two, she continued with her work. We have decided to clean and paint the bird next week. She will then return it to the plant and pot.

She raised up two leaves and said to me, "See the difference. They love it. Look how beautiful they are. Emerald green is the color I see when I see them like this; like beautiful jewels."

She stretched out the length of the plant and washed each leaf as if she was washing the small palms of infants' hands. 

The Montessori methodology is for individuals of all ages.

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