Grow My Heart Again

Our summer program is off to a glorious beginning.  We’ve welcomed back many of our current students, as well as families we haven’t seen since March 2020.  Additionally, we have a number of students who only attend our summer program who are here for another six weeks of immersion in the Seed experience.  Many of our teachers are in different classrooms from their regular school year assignments, to mix it up a bit and give everyone a breather from their usual routine.  Everyone seems to be settling in well.  Even though we’re still following many of our COVID-19 protocols, it feels like things are settling back into a more normal way of being.  As our summer theme “on solid ground” suggests, we’re entering the weeks ahead with the intention of giving everyone an experience of groundedness in all that the Seed has to offer.  

For me, gratitude is at the forefront of Seed offerings lately.  As I’ve reflected back on the past year, my gratitude for our staff and families has been huge.  We wouldn’t be where we are today without the community support we’ve received.  When I returned to the building before our summer session began, I found a pile of small thank-you notes in my mailbox.  They were from the 1st/2nd graders expressing their gratitude to me for teaching them writing and starting the school. Danielle received a similar pile.  We were sharing the messages with each other, and one of hers caught my attention.  It read:  “Thank you for opening the school so I could grow my heart again.”  

Reading the phrase over and over, it felt like a profound message about what we do at the Seed.  We are in the business of growing hearts.  I wondered about the addition of the word “again” and decided perhaps it was a reference to being able to come back to school after having to learn virtually for many months.  Moving into our summer program, it feels like a renewed commitment to growing hearts.

On Saturday I leave for two weeks with my aging parents in Minnesota.  Our plan is to drive up from Nebraska and spend two weeks at their lake home.  Up until about three months ago, they experienced exceptional independence for a 96- and almost-93-year-old.  My dad was still driving and they took care of themselves quite well.  Then my dad’s vision diminished, and they became increasingly dependent on others for everything.  I don’t know what to expect in the weeks ahead, except that they’ll need my assistance more than they have before.  Although witnessing them in this precarious stage of life is heartbreaking, it’s also an opportunity to grow my heart again in new ways with them.  I look forward to serving them however I can to bring ease to their lives.     

(art by Lucia Bowers)