Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Comfort in Concrete

This the work of an angel... truly....

I have a colleague who is, in my opinion, an unsung hero. She takes the ones that some have passed off, molds them, rides them and nurtures them into strong, confident young people. Her tools of the trade are not the usual... they consist of trowels, wheelbarrows, cement bags, tiles, marbles, gravel, grout, cinder blocks and a hose.

Through hard work and team effort, the results grace our campus and sweeten the spirit.

This year, she and her class are creating a memorial garden to honor a fallen hero...a police officer who dedicated his life to keeping you and me safe from drunk drivers. Ironic and tragic, was it not, that his life would be taken.... by a drunk driver. But even though Officer T. is not with us in body, his spirit, being and legacy is the foundation for the garden that my angel colleague is creating with her class.

Why does this merit a post today? Oh, my dear friends, for so many, many reasons... for the memoralizing of a hero... for the unselfish efforts (time, cost, sweat) of this beautiful teacher, for the hard work and spirit of her students who are learning more about life in this lesson than any text book could preach.

But, I must admit... the reason for the post is selfish on my part.
I was walking back to my room yesterday, and the first path stones in the labyrinth had been laid. As I passed by taking a quick look, I was caught off guard by the message that laid before me. Upon reading the marbled message, I felt that the labyrinth had already begun its magic by soothing my spirit... tablets of mortar and concrete softened the edge of hurt that rimmed my heart. I silently walked quickly back to my room...catching my breath.

Today, said angel was back at work with her dedicated students.... mixing concrete, laying forms, hosing off areas, troweling cement, mixing grout and tenderly smoothing out the rough edges of love. I took my camera out and told this amazing woman how much the words that she was laying meant to me... and I thanked her for this gift....still in its infancy, but already having an effect on those who pass.
I've never walked a labyrinth before... my church has one set up right now for the high holidays. I've wanted to do it, but I've been intimidated by the thought of driving over and trying it out. I tell myself that I should really do it this week... to try it...
Whether I make it or not, I have a beautiful, moving one right outside my door.
**to enjoy the path that has begun before you, read the
marbled tablets from the bottom up***
There is much work to be done...and the path is not finished. Over the weekend, some people broke into our campus and destroyed much. Sadly, they broke several of the tablets that my colleague had made for today's path. But she is not daunted, nor her students. New tablets are being made, molded and marbled... for this labyrinth will be laid. This garden will bloom. This hero will be immortalized. And this angel's touch will last... for many, many, many years to come.
Once again... I, the teacher, became the student.

1 comment:

Chickenbells said...

How beautiful (and darned people for breaking in!) I love the idea, and the stones are so tactile with the little marbles...I want to reach out and touch them.

Walking a labrynth is wonderful, I got a chance to walk the scaled down version of the famous one in France, and had the most amazing experience! I'll tell you, I think that everytime you walk one, and open yourself up, the most amazing things come to you...althouh, it looks as if you are inspired already and it's not even finished!