As the 2019-2020 school year comes to an abrupt end, we are closing for summer without the same closure of years past. Despite the similar actions – students with masks cleaning out lockers, teachers with masks going through their end-of-the-year checklist, the hunt and return of library books, the typical collective sigh of relief – lacks the same feeling of relief of days gone.
Students are not eagerly awaiting the final tests to signal the march towards the next grade. End-of-year parties and field days are virtual. The new markings of another year past are found in yard signs, social media posts, and the silence of schools across the world.
Teachers are not cleaning out their rooms with the excitement that the summer reprieve promises. In fact, there is a sense of incompleteness – like a planned vacation never taken. Parents are not busily signing up their children for summer camps.
Summer institutes and professional learning requests are not in abundance, and more often than not, being cancelled. Swimming pools are tentatively opening, along with restaurants, shops, and local parks.
While the way we are ending this school year is new for all of us, it does hold some truths that a pandemic cannot stop.
Truth 1: Time marches forward.
Truth 2: Assignments are due and grades will post.
Truth 3: Seniors will graduate. Retirees will retire. Jobs will shift – even in the uncertainty.
Truth 4: Yearbooks from 2019-2020 capture the year prior to COVID-19.
Truth 5: People still find ways to connect with one another through virtual honors celebrations and club meetings.
Truth 6: A smile still has the power to transform moments. Even smiles shared through computer screens can uplift others.
Truth 7: Books still feed the mind and the soul.
Truth 8: We can do hard things.
Truth 9: This, too, shall pass.
We can transform quickly, learn to rise, appreciate moments, and lose the rules. We can see the simplicity and beauty of a flower, a sunrise, a walk, and can learn to appreciate our world in ways we forgot.Hindsight is 2020. And now 2020 will provide us the lessons that will inevitably guide our tomorrows. This video was recently published on YouTube by Probably Tomfoolery. What a beautiful tribute and perspective to the end of this school year it offers.
This magnolia just bloomed outside my home. A single bloom on this huge tree rings of how precious and fleeting the moments truly are. “This, too, will pass brings detachment and with detachment another dimension comes into your life – inner space.”
-Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth.