The warmer weather has inspired me to find a new route for my morning walks. Through a bit of exploring, I’ve discovered some sleepy, lesser traveled streets near South Mountain that even provide a bit of shade. At the point where I turn around, a sailboat is parked. It’s been there awhile, and seems like it might not be put in the water any time soon. It’s how I feel about myself, as I continue to grapple with the idea that I won’t be headed to any large body of water this summer. I’m okay with it, and am embracing the benefits of staying put. It’s helping me go deeper into other kinds of oceans.
I have been sticking my feet (and heart) into the vast waters of how a pandemic affects social justice, racism, white privilege, and climate change. It’s becoming more evident how interrelated these components are. It’s often an uncomfortable exploration, yet I remain curious and brave-hearted. My various inquires and reflections have led me to formulating an intention about what I can do to help facilitate change. I have been asking for guidance as I also do my personal work. This week my asking for help materialized in the form of two remarkable women.
Through the school’s association with Quality First, we have had access to support services in health and safety, general coaching, mental health, and inclusion. During a meeting yesterday, I was asked by our inclusion and mental health consultants what we needed at this time. After mentioning guidance for helping children re-transition to school and how to help support teachers dealing with all the stresses present at this time, I allowed myself to be vulnerable. I said what we really need is help with how to better address race and social justice issues in our classrooms. We all acknowledged the Seed’s long history of social justice efforts, and began to explore ways to support doing this better. Somewhere in the conversation, the phrase “relationships of healing” came forth. As we talked, I kept coming back to those three words. Ultimately, everything we need to do as a school is basically strengthening our practices to promote relationships of healing.
We talked further and came up with a preliminary plan. Talking with these two kind, thoughtful, wise women, the weight I’ve been carrying in my heart felt lifted. A way forward, where we could work together on this important conversation, was beginning to manifest already. In the coming days and months, we will create a program to nurture relationships of healing for our students, staff, and parents. It is work that I believe will have a strong rippling effect out into our world.
“I live my life in widening circles that reach out across the world. I may not complete this last one but I will give myself to it.” —Ranier Maria Rilke