The Light in the Dark

The nights are drawing in, the days are getting shorter, winter is just round the corner and the year is starting to contract, and it is a dark time for our community. We are grappling with some difficult and frustrating changes and feeling the growing darkness all around us.

It felt like a good time to be together in person for our lantern walk which took place in Meanwood Park, one of our regular haunts, and as the singing gradually faded to quiet contemplation, leaving just the music of the babbling beck, it felt so moving to look back down the long procession and to see the beauty in the many lanterns lighting the night and I hope that the class children leading the way felt that light behind them. Beechtree can feel like a protective bubble for us all, a place apart from the world, a place where we make time for the children to grow and learn, but alongside creating this space, our work is also to ensure that the children will grow and flourish when they move on from Beechtree, and when they do leave, it is always with that light and love behind them.

I have been touched by the love, support, and kindness shown to myself and staff members this week. So much of our work is about our relationships; these are the bedrock of our pedagogy and how we teach the curriculum throughout our tiny school and to feel this reciprocity made this work feel very alive but also created much-needed light and strength for us. It does remind me that love and kindness light the darkness too alongside the traditional festivals of light and how we really do need each other to find our way in the dark.

I will leave you with the words of the class children when asked to describe what ” a light within me” (from a poem) feels like:

Like a light of hope
Kindness
Lovingness in your heart
Warmth
The light of a star inside you
Open and giving person