top of page

kinder....garten, where our roots set in

Children's garden, the meaning of kindergarten. And better yet those two words separated are kinder garden, well at least that's how I see it. We've all heard that "all we know we learned in kindergarten". Well for me I'd like to add my own twist, "all I know about friendship, I learned in kindergarten".

I woke up this morning to a view of frosty, snow covered limbs. The tree outside my window had yellow leaves on it when I went to sleep and now I'm looking at that same tree and it's stark, white, cool and a different shade of beautiful. And for whatever reason it got me thinking about roots, literally the roots of that tree, and how strong they must be to withstand such dramatic change in a matter of hours.

melting frost

The sun has begun to warm the day and the frosty covering on the leaves is melting away, revealing the leaves, nourished by the moisture. This idea of strong roots kept resonating with me, roots of the tree, roots of friendship, roots of learning, family roots.

I walked downstairs, pulled out my kindergarten class photo and my first grade class photo. I studied the faces, faces of friends I met and learned with a long time ago. Faces from my home community, and I remember each of them. Each of their names, what they meant to me all those years ago and what they mean to me now. And I recognized the roots of many of my friendships today.

From snow covered leaves, to roots, to friendships. I heard from a friend recently, someone I've adventured with and confided in, someone I respect and hold in high regard. This friend shared with me a secret, one he didn't want his other friends who live near him to know. A secret about something he had purchased, something he felt was expensive and he didn't want his friends to know about. My response to him was "if people are going to judge you for having something expensive, are they really your friends?" Making this bold statement took a bit of courage, I didn't want to offend my friend and at the same time I want my friend to be careful about who he considers a friend. Why? I don't really know. I suspect because I want for myself to know the people whom I feel are friends, I expect to accept me for who I am, for what I believe in, for the decisions I make. For me the roots of friendship are at the core of our soul.

The faces, the friends in my kindergarten photo, I'm friends today with several of them. We don't see each other often, our connection has ebbed and flowed. When we do see each other, when we do connect, our roots, the very reason we became friends all those years ago holds true today. You see, I believe children in kindergarten are authentic. In kindergarten you only know what you know, you play with others to play, you share because why wouldn't you? And if you have something perceived as nicer or more expensive you don't even realize it, you just show up as you. And you show up to your friends as you, skinned knees, missing teeth, mismatched clothes, fancy lunchbox, no one else in kindergarten really cares. What they do care about is that they have you to play with, you to share with and you to connect with for the rest of your life.

Thank you to the snow covered frosty leaves of this morning, thank you to the sun melting the frost away, thank you for showing me to the roots of what it means to be authentic, for reminding me to have the courage to show up in the world everyday as I am, for who I am, and for knowing it's okay. Thank you to my friends, all of you, from kindergarten to friends I made this week, to whom I'll always be loyal no matter what you have or don't have.

Take a moment to remember what it was like in kindergarten, in the kinder garden of life!

bottom of page