You will notice, if you look at the Gallery on the website (www.sunbeams.org.uk), that I like taking pictures of scenes in the Willow Room where I work. It's a beautiful room, where light flows in the morning and colours are soft and rich at the same time. Almost invariably new visitors to Sunbeams will remark on it. It is welcoming, warm (usually) and homely. The pale rugs and furnishings against the dark wooden floorboards, combined with the high ceiling and pale pink walls, all add to the feeling that this is a place where we can relax. For me it is a delightful space to work in. It makes my job a lot easier.
Having a dedicated room is such a boon! For about 6 years I ran parent & child groups from a room in a church building. It was also a lovely room, with high windows and wooden floor, but setting up in time for the start of a session and packing away again at the end was so exhausting. I'm very grateful for the Willow Room.
Each day that I'm there, I leave my shoes outside the door, along with any emotional baggage I might have brought with me. With slippers on, I enter. On the days when focus is harder to find, I may say a verse to myself to remind me of my purpose. It's one that is often used by kindergarten teachers.
Into my will, let there pour strength.
Into my feeling, let there flow warmth.
Into my thinking, let there shine light,
That I may nurture these children with enlightened purpose,
Caring with heart's love,
And bringing wisdom into all things.
Actually, my job is easy. At least, it has its challenges, but I can honestly say that I really enjoy it. I get to meet lovely families of like-minded people. I spend time observing children at play, facilitating healthy interactions between them and encouraging parents to do the same. When a session is in progress I rarely think about the rest of my day - what's to come or what's been. I'm present in the room.