It’s been a welcome return to almost normal with all of the students returning this week. We have missed the energy and the vibrancy that our students bring to the school grounds, hallways and classrooms. Personally, I have missed the smiles and greetings I receive from students as I wander the College grounds. In speaking with students this week, even those who really enjoyed remote learning are very happy to be back onsite and connecting with their friends and teachers. In my address to students on Tuesday morning, I reminded all of them again about the physical distancing protocols we are expecting them to abide by, and to thank them for their enthusiasm, engagement and cooperation during our time of remote learning. I also spoke about the value of being together as a community once again and offered them all a beautiful blessing for friendship as we resume our connections with one another:
May you be blessed with good friends.
May you learn to be a good friend to yourself.
May you be able to journey to that place in your soul where
there is great love, warmth, feeling, and forgiveness.
May this change you.
May it transfigure that which is negative, distant, or cold in you.
May you be brought in to the real passion, kinship, and affinity of belonging.
May you treasure your friends.
May you be good to them and may you be there for them;
may they bring you all the blessing, challenges, truth,
and light that you need for your journey.
May you never be isolated.
May you always be in the gentle nest of belonging with your anam _ara (soul friend).
From Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O’Donohue
There has been so much going on in the world at the moment which can at times be overwhelming for people to process. The Black Lives Matter protests highlight in stark relief the oppression, helplessness and disenfranchisement a significant proportion of our society are experiencing in their own lives, and what this means for their hopes for their own children. If we fully accept the premise from John’s Gospel, that Jesus came so that everyone may have life, and have it to the full, then we cannot accept, and be comfortable with, the treatment that some people in our society are experiencing. If the current state of the world tells us anything, it is that we must listen to, and engage with people, to ensure they have the capacity to have determination over their own lives, and more importantly that we agitate and advocate for the right of every human person to enjoy the freedoms and the safety that some of us are privileged enough to take for granted.