It was a beautiful day on the Jeanne P. Picerne Lower School playground.
It was a great day for baseball.
It was perfect for soccer.
It was ideal for swinging.
It was a good day to make the world’s smallest leaf pile.
It was a magnificent day to pretend that you were angels who have a chief that looks like a stick and she got hurt when you went into the lava mounds so you are healing her with surgery on the surgery wheel.
And you used a slug to heal it, too.
It’s in your pocket, wrapped in some leaves
To everyone’s great relief, Mr. Almeida, the Buildings and Grounds Director, brought in some professionals to assess the willow tree yesterday morning, and they decided it was safe to leave it standing.
Since Sunday’s windstorm, the willow has been the subject of great fascination.
These two were building a model of the tree, in its shadow.
The wind had shaken all manner of leaves and branches into the corners of the fields.
There were plenty of willow branches to weave into crowns.
Fairy houses popped up all around the play structures.
For the first graders, this is the first year they have had daily access to this playground.
They are just beginning to figure out how to use the scrubby, trampled space behind the trees.
The hedges have been heavily used over the years, for intense imaginative play.
There is a culture, years of stories, in these bushes, handed down by siblings, weekend playmates, older kids in the after school programs.
The teachers watch, and help out when asked, but they let the students re-discover the game every fall.
These students, for instance, know it all has something to do with an elf village.
But they know they are not in the elf village proper. That is through some tunnels, they think, past a fence probably.
They’ve been there before, but they haven’t found their way back.
This space, no one knows what this space is really. Not yet. But they will figure it out and make it their own, just as Gordon Lower School students have done for many years.
Before there was an elf village, before the fairy village that some of the current seventh and eighth graders remember, these hedges were known as "the apartments." a look at the apartments, from 2008.