Winter is here and just like the building where Beechtree lives , we are having to hibernate. We are staying at home and once more connecting and communicating in different ways to normal. Songs are sung, lessons are learned, news is shared and stories are told via Zoom.
Even though we are missing each other, it cheers us immensely to be able to see the children and sometimes even the animals we live with. For those who don’t want to Zoom and who watch later, it’s lovely to be able to send and receive catch up emails and phone calls and to hear how you are doing.
Our overarching aim with the remote learning we are offering is to stay in contact and to give the Beechtree children familiarity and security, and the families support. Relationships and connections always have been fundamental to our work and always will be the foundation stone for everything we do. With our remote learning, we don’t want anyone to feel under pressure though. There is no rush and no one is going to be left behind. Please do continue to keep in touch and remember that what we are all being asked to do is almost impossible and to navigate this time, we need to keep hibernating, to slow down, to breathe, to be gentle with ourselves and to keep checking in and looking after each other.
Our Beechtree winter feels deep, heavy and dark some days. Not only are we in lockdown but we are currently without a usable building. Not being able to open for the children of critical workers yet feels hard. Exploring options and processes for sorting our current premises and looking for other options is stymied and slow, there are lots of phone calls, emails and meetings, it’s out of our control and it’s just taking time. Today I found myself thinking of the seeds and the root children who are unseen but busy deep down in the earth preparing for the abundant growth of spring, and in remembering this, I could start to trust that all the work we are doing is like the seeds buried deep but still growing, developing and reaching out; we can’t see the progress but it is will be there, unfolding, just like the tiny snowdrops slowly awakening in our gardens under the blanket of snow, something will emerge when it’s ready.
As I try and do what feels impossible – work from home, managing a school and support my child with his school work and through exam disruption, I find myself looking for the joy in tiny moments, in the snowy trees, the blue skies, the warm fire, a lit candle, fairy lights, a message from a colleague. These moments are sustaining me, along with the knowledge that Beechtree has always been more than a building, it is a community with a shared vision for a gentle, unhurried, much needed, alternative education; we will keep each other going and spring will come.