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This blog has been created to allow family and friends to share in and become part of the experience of 'Down at the Farm'.
Enjoy the children, their love for each other and their open hearted wonder and excitement.
Over time you will get to know the farm through their eyes and will see how they spend their day with each other in a very rich, organic way.
Each vignette is a snapshot in time. Follow from one to another, then on to more and you can share in our unfoldment and journey.
Enjoy your visit ...

Monday, December 17, 2012

... and we're going to the chapel ...

At the end of Samson's last day, the children wanted to do something special.  We decided to walk somewhere special and they wanted to go somewhere they hadn't been before.   What sprang to mind was a walk to the chapel.  

 Amanda, the interpretive officer is a friendly neighbour ... she knows we are around and is always happy to see us.   The chapel itself has been restored and is quite beautiful ... and I offered to the children that I could take them for a walk and show them another beautiful place near the farm.

They wanted to know if it was like the art gallery ... yet not the art gallery ... and when I said, 'Well it sort of is.'   That was enough for them.

In we walked and Amanda was really happy to see we had come to visit, and really happy for us to wander and look.

The chapel was quiet and still and the children were gorgeous.

Lot's of 'Wows' when we walked in ... followed by, 'Look at that' ..'Look at that' ... and they were so respectful of being in a space that they weren't familiar with, 'Can we walk here?' 'Can we look at things?'

... and we did.

The altar is carved intricately of marble.   To the children, a large tactile story book, 'Look, this is amazing.' ... and they walked up and touched it and walked round it to take it in.   It sits in an enclave that is dome shaped with art work up to the ceiling reminiscent of the Sistine chapel era type of thing, with mandala stain glass windows.   The children loved the beauty and detail and the light that was coming in here too.  They noticed things all around and asked, 'What's that?' 'Who's that?'   ... and of course they were funny too.

On a pedestal on the wall was a statue of a nun, in black and white habit.   Kornelius and Samson noticed her and asked, 'Who's that up there?'  

I told them it was a nun ... and without wanting to know what a nun was or anymore info,   there was general agreement, 'She's a bit scary.'

Along one wall were a series of oil paintings, known as 'The Stations of the Cross' and the children stood to look up at the art in this 'gallery'.  They've been to the C3 gallery before and now anywhere with art work is a gallery ... and they quite love knowing it's there to look at.

Kornelius took in the first picture he looked at and asked, 'Who's that?'   

I told him it was a picture of Jesus.

'Who's Jesus?'

'Well Jesus is a man who lived a long time ago, about 2000 years ago.'

'Oh...' looking at the painting...'what's so special about him?'

The conversation opened up and I did my best to share answers to their questions about this story, in a simple way and as I've come to understand it.

'He was a teacher, a kind man, a caring man and a real warrior for peace and love.  He cared a real lot about how people were and would often do brave things to bring about more love between people.'


'How come he's lying down?'

Well that picture is telling about when he died ...

'What's that guy at the end of the bed got wings for?'

'He's an angel.'


'How come he's got gold around his head?'

'Well Jesus was so full of love and compassion that people could see it shining out of him ... it shone out of him like light.   That gold is meant to show how shiny bright he was.'

'So how come there are more pictures?' ... looking down the line of oil paintings.

'Well that's meant to be a story about part of his life ... a bit like a story book up on the walls and each painting is like a page.'

'Oh ... are there other stories too?'

No mostly about Jesus in here ... and then they noticed the stain glass windows ... 'What about in there ... ?'

... 'Well that is more of the same story.'

'Oh .. oh ... not like the other gallery.'  ... which of course has the work of a number of artists going on at once.

... and on we went, looking at the seats and sitting in them and asking who else has sat there and seeing how the light shone in the stain glass ... and noticing the organ pipes and asking who played the music and what songs they sang and things like, 'Do you think they know twinkle, twinkle?'

The thing that was really delightful is that children were in a non religious, non prejudiced, multi-sensory experience of the chapel as it was on that day.    It's got an incredibly beautiful wooden ceiling and is a bit like the inside hull of an upturned boat, that has been handcrafted.   They noticed this and took it in.   They walked up close to all thing we saw and touched what they could ... and asked a whole lot about everything else.   

In the end, it was deemed, 'a pretty good gallery' ... and that we had indeed gone somewhere special with Samson on his last day.


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