Celebrate first. That’s the motto to live by.

But it goes against my nature to celebrate when the hand dryers are blasting 150dB of noise in 10-second spurts between explosions of chatter from the seemingly thousands of children who use those bathrooms and dryers right when I need to try and write a blog.

Instead of celebrating, I close my door and begin drafting. Suddenly, I get a text from a colleague saying, “There’s dog poo on the field, and Roy is in a meeting. Can you please clean it up?”

Sigh. Celebrate first? More like grumble and complain about smells and sounds that shouldn’t exist in a school…. The decibels and dog doo have got me down.

A Shovel Holding Revelation

I realize then, like most humans, I sound like the Israelites, grumbling and complaining, despite the fact that our respective freedom has been granted to us in astounding, awe-inspiring ways.

My heart begins to soften.

While trudging down the hallways with the infamous shovel, I stop in my tracks by the sheer beauty displayed on every wall in this building. Every class has created and carefully curated thought-provoking, stunning, celebration-first-worthy work!

Instead of taking the direct route to the canine waste, I detour, taking the longer—and much quieter—route through all the hallways. Some of the beautiful works I saw on display in our art gallery were:

  • Kindergarten Family Portraits—If you ever get too vain, just look at yourself through a kindergarten student’s artistic abilities. You will be humbled, but boy, will you feel loved!
  • Grade 1 Ephemeral Art—Photos of objects found outside and arranged to make temporary pieces of art. Completely biodegradable art!
  • Grade 2 Poppy Art—Students seriously showing gratitude for the freedoms and peace we can so easily take for granted!
  • UP class Line & Colour Art—Creations capturing energy and movement through the varied use of colour and lines!
  • Grade 3 Place Value Art—Students combining knowledge of 1000’s, 100’s, 10’s and 1’s into the widest and wildest assortment of creatures!
  • Grade 4 Collective Noun pictures—Who knew that group-naming nouns combined with watercolour backgrounds could be so beautiful! You should really see the “Prickle of Porcupines.”
  • Grade 5 Coat of Arms—An amazing display of creativity as students try to capture their identity through this format, complete with mottos and supports. Such detail!

Now I continue my trek to the field, celebrating the wonder of walking our hallways. I smile, knowing that despite the sight that awaits me and my shovel and the sounds that await my return to the office, I have caught glimpses of how the image bearing students have emulated their Creator—crafting, creating, and proclaiming: “It is good!