Hello Great River Community ~
The month of May is upon us! While spring slowly arrives, we watch the snow thaw from April, and see our garden seeds sprout bravely into the cool mornings. We also see our students growing into their new year - as it seems that student growth spurts and emotional leaps forward often coincide with spring weather.
Our own school has undergone quite a period of growth these past two spring-times and we are also coming into a new awareness of our selves in our building, and in our fully realized arrangement of a first through twelfth grade institution. If you haven’t yet, please give us feedback on our family survey! (click to link) This survey is key in telling our school board how the school is doing well, and how we can better build community, meet student needs, and serve our mission. Thanks for giving us the time and feedback.
Also, our Parent Engagement Group and the School have decided to take a break from the “spring fest” fundraiser of the past several years. We are re-assessing how we can best create community events that are purposeful and inclusive. And I (as Head of School) do look forward to being in a dunk tank again - that was enjoyed by students. :-)
Below, a beautiful poem by Tracy K. Smith on seeing an adolescent move through the transition points of maturing. The move from day to night, through a period of dusk, and all the ways that seeing that transition from the outside can be compelling, unnerving, and invite a parent to consider their own need for reassurance. I think of this poem each spring, as we move through another transition, and often watch our children grow up and out and sideways in means and methods that are outside of our prediction.
Be well to all!
What woke to war in me those years
When my daughter had first grown into
A solid self-centered self? I’d watch her
Sit at the table—well, not quite sit,
More like stand on one leg while
The other knee hovered just over the chair.
She wouldn't lower herself, as if
There might be a fire, or a great black
Blizzard of waves let loose in the kitchen,
And she'd need to make her escape. No,
She'd trust no one but herself, her own
New lean always jittering legs to carry her—
Where exactly? Where would a child go?
To there. There alone. She'd rest one elbow
On the table—the opposite one to the bent leg
Skimming the solid expensive tasteful chair.
And even though we were together, her eyes
Would go half-dome, shades dropped
Like a screen at some cinema the old aren't
Let into. I thought I'd have more time! I thought
My body would have taken longer going
About the inevitable feat of repelling her,
But now, I could see even in what food
She left untouched, food I'd bought and made
And all but ferried to her lips, I could see
How it smacked of all that had grown slack
And loose in me. Her other arm
Would wave the fork around just above
The surface of the plate, casting about
For the least possible morsel, the tiniest
Grain of unseasoned rice. She'd dip
Into the food like one of those shoddy
Metal claws poised over a valley of rubber
Bouncing balls, the kind that lifts nothing
Or next to nothing and drops it in the chute.
The narrow untouched hips. The shoulders
Still so naïve as to stand squared, erect,
Impervious facing the window open
Onto the darkening dusk.
~Tracy K. Smith, "Dusk" from Wade in the Water. Copyright © 2018 by Tracy K. Smith. Graywolf press