Developing Flexibility and Embracing the New

May 2024
Today’s article was shared with us by our LifeWays Board President, Shanah Ahmadi.



When we purchased the property for our program (Rose Rock School) 12 years ago, the 4 acre lot included an inground pool. We discovered that the idea of a serviced pool on the premises disturbed parents’ nerves, so we decided to plan for other options for the unused pool. We settled on a design in which the pool would be converted into a greenhouse; however, as the years went by, that project never became a budgetary or curricular priority. The pool remained basically empty–a place for rainwater, sticks, and errant toys. Last month, the insurance company decided that an empty pool was a liability–a very expensive liability. Suddenly, the pool project became a priority, but we had neither the time nor the funds to build the greenhouse. Instead, we became flexible and decided to transform the empty pool into a large garden bed. It was disappointing to discard the dream for the greenhouse, but allowing the shift in perspective became quite magical. The experience led me to ponder how we can enter into parenting or teaching (or any moment, really) with ideas and expectations. Occasionally, letting go of these preconceived ideas and welcoming something unforeseen can be the perfect fodder for lively thinking, connected feeling, and uplifted activity. 



From an Empty Pool to a Garden of Possibilities 
First, the rain water and leaves were removed–plus some children’s toys coated in moss.
Second, some holes were drilled in the bottom–holes to let excess water escape.
Then, mighty dump trucks came–one by thundering one, as they delivered rocks and sand.
Children lined the fence to salute their arrivals and cheer their labors.
The sand settled…and out popped…dozens of toads…
Toads–a totem of good luck and transition, a symbol of protection and paying careful attention.
We have been visited by a surprise knot of toads!
After admiring these blessings for a day, a rescue party was underway. The toads were released from their unintentional captivity.
What comes next? Dirt, seeds, plants, butterflies and possibly more toads–so keep watching…



Shanah is the Board President of LifeWays North America and a lead caregiver and the administrator at Rose Rock. Get to know more about her here!