Singing trees: A reflection

The following quotation was received from a parent who participated in the Twilight Seminar Series facilitated by Professor Carla Rinaldi, Jan Millikan,  Fr Denis Edwards,  Dr James McEvoy and Helen O’Brien.

Singing trees for some reason brought to mind poetry from Song of Solomon –  it captures something of the flavour of this late winter workshop and it’s possibilities for Catholic Education I think:

“Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away,  for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land”


The broader, wholistic definition of competence today reminded me of  Denis Edwards’ notion of  “integrity” whereby all creatures are equipped by the Creator with everything we need to live life fully and abundantly.

The Giardina Publica  singing trees project. 
Anthropomorphic perspective on trees –  deeply creative and imaginative metaphysical thinking, not far away from theologising.  How wonderful that these children and their teachers were comfortable in the ‘unmeasurable realm’.   An encouragement for Catholic educators to foster childrens creative and imaginative questioning/theorising  around spirit, God, the unseen, mystery, divinity?

The cognitive and meta-cognitive capabilities of the children in this project were astonishing and their ‘products’ were high level art.  We are more used to seeing this level of thinking and work in an adult artist.

The singing trees project also reflects the extraordinary competency of Reggio teachers  – they’ve taken their role to an art form.   “Explain, enlarge, begin research”; I’d like to know more about these arts so I can foster equally rich learning in my own family.

Teaching in the cracks, Helen O’Brien

Overwhelming endorsement from the top to think large about learning and teaching, beyond existing system and political constraints. It brought to mind Isiah to the people of Zion

“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.”

How can CESA  lift up teachers who are already doing ‘teaching in the cracks’ ……..  Would love to hear more from them about their ‘art’ and as a parent support, honour  and encourage these teachers.  Can we find ways to celebrate and perhaps ‘document’ these highly competent teachers at work and make visible their art to other teachers, parents, parish communities, student teachers.


Beauty as a right and a form of love and learning.  Inspiration for CESA here, especially in respect to school grounds.  Our moral and civil duty to “roll up the ashphalt” as Denis Edwards puts it in one of his books.

Deep thanks for today.  Merenia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe By Email

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.

Please prove that you are not a robot.

Skip to toolbar