Last week we were out walking in the neighborhood one evening and passed a father and his daughter in the process of setting up their holiday lights. We could tell they were a team. We commented how beautiful their lights were, and the dad said, “She’s in charge. It’s all her idea.” It was clear they were enjoying themselves. The next morning I passed by their house again and noticed their finished masterpiece. Surrounded by strings and clusters of tiny white lights was a large green heart. It was symbolic of how this season appears to be unfolding. Engulfed by an increasing amount of what feels like darkness, especially with the drastic spike in COVID-19 cases, there is still the light and hope of love.
The winter solstice on December 21 is a time when we are invited inward from the darkness to reacquaint ourselves with our own inner light. The shorter days and longer nights are symbolic. Since 1984, the Seed has assembled a delightful celebration of dance and song in honor of the winter solstice. We chose to do so to make it a more universal celebration amidst the rituals and practices of many cultures. Over the years it’s become one of our most precious and notorious events.
This year our lead teachers met in early November to begin planning a virtual event. We came up with a plan and started developing the concept. We even identified a song that went along with the theme. We decided to give each teacher more autonomy with how to express their class theme/concept. Knowing it would be different, we believed we could still make it spectacular in its own way.
As we returned from the Thanksgiving holiday, to enter into the time that would be intensely devoted to rehearsals and preparations, the lead teachers met again. After an honest, heartfelt conversation, we decided that it would be more than any of us could handle at this time. There were many factors that played out, including the increase in student absences, the challenges of integrating virtual and in-person students in the production, and most importantly, the overwhelming amount of energy it takes for all of us to even get through an ordinary day.
We don’t want to disappoint anyone, and we also have to be realistic. Ultimately, we felt it would best serve our teachers and students to devote all of our energy these next two weeks to keeping everyone healthy and happy without the added pressure of having to put together a performance. Instead, teachers said they’d like to put together a personalized holiday message/expression for parents in their own class.
It’s one more thing we’ve had to let go of to make it sanely through this most challenging time. In doing so, it gives us more energy to keep opening our doors every morning, even as many parts of our normal lives are shutting down around us. We appreciate your understanding with this decision, and even more, your cooperation and support of everything we need to do to meet CDC and county recommendations. As we continue working together with empathy and compassion, we will find our way through.