One of the universal experiences in this life is the unfortunate pain of grief and loss. Even children are not spared the sorrow of losing loved ones. This year has been a difficult one for some of our students. With this in mind Mrs. Curet’s third grade class thought a memory garden would be a good thing to have on our campus. A school cannot begin to replace what some children lose through tragedy but we can create a place where fond memories are fostered and cherished. Our third graders embraced the idea that a special garden space could help those having difficult days. Just a place to sit and remember could bring comfort. Of course a garden like this shouldn’t just look peaceful and beautiful, we thought it should smell that way too. What does a happy memory smell like? Of course there isn’t just one answer, but when looking for a natural fragrance that can inspire peace and beauty it’s hard to match the flowers of the Plumeria tree.
We thought Plumerias would be the perfect trees to shade students just needing some time to remember. Most of the third graders had never smelled Plumeria flowers before but after some heavenly sniffs all of them thought this was the perfect smell for a memory garden. If tranquility has a smell, surely it’s Plumeria.
While planting these trees we talked about the value of memories and the importance of making new ones. Some students were inspired to share a special memories that helped to bring them comfort. Some were sad. Some were sweet, and one was even funny-
I’ve got Earrings!
I remember when my dad taught me how to catch lizards. I was 3 years old and I had just had my birthday and my dad said he would teach me how. So when we got home we went to the backyard dad caught a lizard and showed me how to catch them. It took a while for me to learn how but eventually I was as good as my dad. When I was really good, he taught me how to put them on my ears like earrings, but only small ones! I did not understand why only small ones, it was because the big ones never let go and it hurts, but I learned the hard way! So I caught a big lizard at school and put it on my ear. When it finally let go I was bleeding, so I never did that again!
We hope that this garden will remind our students that memories are valuable gifts that we give to each other and that when treasured, they are gifts that we can keep for a lifetime.