Branches to sing, feed, look and be.
The children have a deep connection to our local magpies as we have a family that often visits, both in our outdoor space and sometimes inside too! This relationship to magpies that has evolved has made them so aware of these iconic Australian birds in other environments and contexts too. This occurred on our recent excursion to the MCA, where many children excitedly pointed out the nearby magpies feeding on the grass as we picnicked, exclaiming that ‘Maggie’ (as they are affectionately known) had come to visit and look after us on our excursion. With this in mind we can see that the children imagine a deep reciprocal caring relationship between us and these beautiful creatures who call NNS home.
At a recent conference, I was honoured to hear Marie Taylor tell a dreaming story of magpies who, because of their collaborative nature were able to lift the sky, removing the land from darkness, to reveal the first sunrise. The magpies greeted this sunrise with their garbling song, something they continue to do with beauty each day.
It is Maggie’s curiosity, trust in us and beauty that we can see has captivated the children, and so when our beloved Maggie sadly died this term the children were obviously deeply affected and naturally wanted to create a way to remember her. The group decided on two very poignant ideas, to plant the Lilly Pilly tree kindly given to us by Kathy as her ‘memory tree’, and to create a memorial sculpture for her. A small group have been working on the sculpture, using a combination of natural and manmade materials in rich harmony. It is a piece of beauty, simplicity and delicacy and one which will allow us to fondly remember our dear friend Maggie.