It was a busy week to say the least, and not what many people want out of their holidays, but I love our annual conference. Next year's is in Wellington and I've already registered! Yes, I think there is something wrong with me.
This year our theme was Myth & Magic and we asked our four keynote speakers to address this theme in their presentations. These speeches were inspiring, eloquent and diverse.
And yet, intriguingly, both Joe and Fiona wound up at the same conclusion. Fiona spoke of an attractive young Irish teacher who would float around the school playground arm in arm with an equally attractive colleague. Fiona and her class-mates hoped that the two were an item and would one day marry. The same Irish teacher introduced her to many an Irish poet and Fiona referred to one of her most cherished:
Those words! Dappled, brinded, stipple, plotted, fallow, fickle, freckled, adazzle, dim.
Years later Fiona was being interviewed and recalled this teacher who kindled her love of poetry. She mentioned that she still wondered if the two teachers had ever married and had children. Somehow, the teacher herself heard Fiona's recollections and reached out to her - the young couple had indeed married and 'lived happily ever after' - and Fiona was able to communicate her gratitude.
Joe and Fiona both tugged at our heartstrings and reminded us why we do what we do. The effect of our work may not be known for months or years, but we can rest assured that the effect is great, meaningful and formative.
Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei