Autumn is one of the happiest times at LANK. Our playground is littered with leaves, the weather is crisp, and signs of autumnal change are everywhere. It is particularly meaningful this year as our world has been turned upside down. Now more than ever we are looking for things we can count on; those seasonal changes that remind us that as topsy- turvy as the world may be, we can remain comforted by familiar sights, smells, and ritual.
For those of us LANK veterans, fall usually signals the Welcome Back playground party, Saturday morning Halloween festivities, and Back to School night(s). While that might not be the case this year, I walked the building and noticed some of the familiar sights that we have all come to love! Our five-day classes were all involved in quintessential fall fun! One class was engrossed in the steps required to bake small pumpkin muffins, while another group was assembling apple pizzas!
The beloved Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Fence poem was definitely enhanced when one class was faced with a STEAM challenge; creating a fence with popsicle sticks and clothespins! Our younger students have been painting apple trees, making a paper bag pumpkin patch, and learning about farm life. For me, the focus on apples, pumpkins, leaves, and squirrels provides just the right amount of familiarity and unchanging, cyclical reliable expectation. It is reminder to us adults that while our lives may seem a bit uncertain, our focus should be the spark of wonder that a small apple or pumpkin seed can inspire, or the beauty that is created in those weeks right before the trees sleep for the winter. Those wonders do not change, and their reliability is both a comfort and source of security for ourselves and our children.