I thought I’d strike while the iron is hot and continue in the spirit of self-reflection and contemplation.
One of the blessings of the “good ‘ol days” was that very little happened on a Sunday. It meant of course, that families had time to slow down, catch their breath and re-charge their batteries. There is a special strength that is born out of solitude and silence.
I am often reminded of the need to “get away” and find some time alone when I remember that Jesus would often withdraw from the crowds and spend His evenings alone in the hills. The one thing we need today, probably more than we think, is to spend some time alone – and reclaim the lost art of meditation. We need a “peaceful place” as part of our lifestyle.
For our boarders, finding time alone can be tricky. But this is something that we encourage the children to find, especially when they are feeling tired or frustrated with others. There is a real skill and maturity in being able to recognise when energy levels are flailing; and a real courage in being able remove oneself from the hustle and bustle of life, to be alone.
As we approach the holidays, I would encourage you to find time to be alone – to re-charge your own batteries. I was once told by a Headmaster to guard my time off jealously and always take the down time when offered. His reasoning was simple: “I need you to be the person I hired – I don’t want a tired, grumpy, irritable and resentful member of staff working with the children.” The same is true for parents. To be the parent you want to be and your children need, you need to look after yourself too.
And our children… they need to learn how to find space in solitude; to be comfortable in their own thoughts and to remove themselves for just a little while from all the daily distractions and demands of modern living. Let’s make sure that we help our children and encourage them to slow down, reflect and re-charge their batteries before the New Year.
Here’s to finding your own peaceful place and to helping your children find their own strength that is born, in part, through solitude.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your special children, a blessed, relaxing, and safe Christmas holiday. And when you are sitting in a warm, snug kitchen, carving your turkey, know that someone out there, is shivering next to his BBQ… smiling.
HEAD of BOARDING