It’s solstice week. Anyone who is a previous student, staff member or parent knows what this means. It’s a week of finishing up projects, finalizing dances and taking deep breaths. The gift drive is over and items have been delivered. The multi is taped with all kinds of symbols and words to remind young dancers where to stand. Even the staff holiday party is behind us. We’re figuring out how to improve the sound system and our trusty videographer (a Seed alumni parent) is lined up for event. I’m working on the program and we’re all trying to stay healthy for a few more days. Hand washing is encouraged now more than ever, since the flu season is officially upon us.
This year’s program is based on the book Silver Seeds, a collection of short poems about parts of a day in the natural world. It starts with dawn and ends with the night sky. The final poem reads like this:
Tossed in the air
And planted in the sky,
Reaching out of the darkness
On Friday night you will see children from ages one to eleven performing lively moves in colorful costumes, accompanied by music that expresses the essence of each poem, each group. For some children it’s their big opportunity to shine as they entertain the audience. For others, it’s a huge accomplishment just to make an appearance on stage. It’s a proud moment for parents and teachers. We do this each year to celebrate the season and to celebrate our Seed community, including our alumni, many of whom attend the event. On Tuesday, I thought of another reason.
As I drove to school, listening to reports from Pakistan of another horrendous school shooting that claimed lives of 132 children, memories of the Sandyhook shooting around this time two years ago came to mind. Part of the Seed’s mission statement is to promote world peace. Our work with children is fully dedicated to helping them grow into strong, happy, creative, kind, thoughtful, well-balanced people. The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, when darkness is more prevalent. It’s a time when we can also remember the light, especially the light within each of us, and count on it to get us through the darkness. Our Seed Celebration of the Winter Solstice is a reminder of this idea. We are raising children who will be leaders of the future, leaders who emanate the light and inspire that in others. They are the “silver seeds…reaching out of the darkness sprouting wonder.” It’s a time of hope, and maybe someday we’ll no longer have news of children being shot at school. That’s my hope, anyway.
For links about other Seed winter solstice celebrations: