Let your light shine before others. Matthew 5:16
There are people who have a strong influence in your life and sometimes when in reflection you realise the effect they have.
Furthermore, you can see the face of God in them and one of those people was my Grandmother.
My Grandmother lived in the house behind us and always made me feel welcome. She strongly I believe lived our 3 pillars, core values.
Firstly, Catholic Identity which goes beyond faith and started with her personal witness which for me was our relationship.
This stemmed from her always providing an environment that was safe & comfortable.
Her relationship with God was exhibited through her religious symbols of crosses, holy pictures, statues, rosary beads and dedication to Mary.
If she ever dropped one she would pick it up and kiss it. Something I still do to this day.
She inspired me with her strong prayer life and was always the first one in the car to Sunday mass usually half and hour before.
Her other passions were sport and music, these are also mine & by the way she had a state of the art record player.
In sport she would pray to God to help her team and her favourite music was Arabic, Dusty Springfield & the Beatles. I did try to interest in the Rolling Stones but they just were not her cup of tea.
Secondly, Ecological Sustainability, my grandmother lived through the depression and always maintained the stewardship of God’s creation would provide. Hence our backyard consisted of 4 apricot, a plum, nectarine, peach, lemon, almond & walnut trees, eggplants, Lebanese cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, mint and chickens.
Although I can distinctly remember her armed with a tomahawk and a chicken and asking what she was doing? Stupid question, it was no fun being chased by a headless chook.
Hence, you never saw me near the chicken coop when it was at Holy Family.
2 years ago, our backyard was the subject of a migrant museum exhibition possibly thanks to my sister’s ability to sell it as a market garden, but to me it was just a backyard however my grandma would have been proud.
Finally, Evolving Pedagogy my Grandma’s favourite thing in life was cooking.
One day I was eating a pasty which she referred to as a mystery bag and said she would cook me something better. Immediately her learning intention was to expose me to a different cultural tasting experience that was Kibbeh my favourite food. So she took me into her house and engaged me in the process by taking me through the steps of grinding the wheat, tenderising the meat, and adding the different herbs and spices and most importantly allowed me to enjoy the fruits of her labour. The interesting thing was she never made it the same way she was always looking for the perfect recipe and she never wrote it down. I have never found Kibbeh that ever tasted so good. Little did she know that she created a lifelong legacy which shows how profound a learning intention with a multi layered pedagogical approach that can have great influence on one’s life and we can pass that learning onto others.
The final point I would like to make is something my grandma said to me. She believed that everyone has a gift and it is important that you share it with everyone.