I hope this message finds you all safe and well. I don’t know about you but driving into work this week, it seemed lighter, little by little the sun is rising earlier and the days are starting to stretch out a bit. The shortest day of the year was on 21st December when the sun rose at 8.04am and set at 3.54pm, on writing this message the sun now rises at 7.56am and sets at 4.37pm, so gradually, inexorably, the days are getting brighter and lighter.
Also, it has been quite mild this week (and wet!), so much so that some people have used the term ‘a false spring’ to describe the weather, which can occur in late winter sometimes, when temperatures are warm enough to deceive nature, causing plants and animals to awaken early from dormancy. My children and I noticed a song thrush singing heartily one quiet evening in our garden this week, which was a thrilling sight but as he puffed out his chest and sang his plethora of tunes, I wondered if he was getting slightly ahead of himself.
I guess in some ways, it is a bit like that for all of us at the moment. We want the Spring to arrive and for this lockdown to come to an end, so that we can bask in the sunshine and hopefully see nearest and dearest friends and family once again.
Here is another saying:
‘Hope springs eternal.’
Before Christmas we asked the children to give their own definitions of ‘Hope’ and here are examples of some of their wonderful responses.
‘Hope might be rainbow coloured - we liked this because of rain and sun.’
‘If Hope were a shape, it would be a heart.’
‘If Hope were a shape it would be a circle because it goes on forever.’
‘Hope has a calming voice that tells you that you CAN do it. Hope is a cylinder because it is the closest to a candle and the flames represent Hope.’
‘Hope would be silent so you can focus on what you are hoping for; if it were a colour, it would be rose and purple because they are courageous colours.’
‘Hope would be a light blue colour like the light at the end of the tunnel.’
Your children are so perceptive and insightful. Through a child’s lens, the world always seems a brighter place. Their eternal optimism and lust for life keeps the rest of us upbeat and the staff here at Pilgrims’ Cross are both humbled and thankful for the daily opportunity to live and work with your children.
In The Bible, the story of Noah from The Old Testament talks about him releasing a dove from the Ark (for the waters covered the face of the earth) to see if there was any hope of discovering land.
The first time the dove returned to the ark with nothing, Noah took the bird gently into his hands and pulled her into the safety of the ark.
A week later he released the female dove again.
That evening the dove returned and in her beak was an olive branch and Noah knew the waters were receding and land was reappearing. Ever since that story the dove has been considered a symbol of Hope.
Here is your loving learning challenge this week children:
Create your own symbols of Hope.
Present these in any way you wish…with colour, with paint, with paper, with song, with music, with dance, with hands, with words, with your own thoughts and ideas.
I would love to see some of your creations and will happily display them in the school corridor outside my office.