Pause 4 Thought

9 April 2020

“The great gift of Easter is hope.” – Basil Hume

The last two weeks have been extraordinary ones for us all. At times it feels as if one is living in a fast-paced movie – but one in which one can’t press ‘pause’ or ‘fast forward’. Some of you may have seen the following meme the weekend before last:

However, we are all coming to terms with the fact that this is not possible; that we need to live this out day by day; that we cannot pretend that life is as it was; that we need to adjust and accept that we are playing a long game here – whilst remembering to live in the moment. A tall order. Isn’t it odd how we all want to go to work or out for a long walk now we’re told we can’t…….

I wonder how our children will remember this time? What will they take with them from this period of upheaval, of time spent at home, indoors, away from friends? We cannot (and should not) control their thoughts, but we will have a huge impact on the atmosphere in which they are currently living. Our children will pick up on our moods, attitudes and priorities. This does not mean that we have to be perfect – a real danger of some of the posts on social media is their capacity to make us feel inadequate, rather than just human. The viral Youtube post of the family singing their lockdown version of Les Miserables is hugely entertaining – but runs the risk of us wondering why our children can’t sing like that? Why haven’t we organised something so creative?

So – go gently with yourselves and with your children. I remember the 3 day week in the UK in 1974 when electricity was rationed to organisations for only 3 days each week. Domestic power cuts were common. What do I (as a young teenager) remember? I remember playing mahjong with my mother, grandmother and brother. I remember playing the piano by candlelight and making up my own tunes. I remember hooting with laughter. Tough times, but some of my happiest adolescent memories. And when ‘the lights came back on’, my normal education continued – we were not a damaged generation.

We have received many messages of support across the School community from people demonstrating their commitment to The Abbey – thank you. Thank you also to those kind parents who have donated masks and gloves for us to pass on to our medical parents; to those who have sent in boxes of chocolates or biscuits; to those who offered me tinned tomatoes after my last Gateway! This all helps to lift the spirits, to help our teachers to know that they are valued and that the huge efforts they are expending preparing remote learning for next term are appreciated.

I wish you all very well this Easter and hope that you and your families are able to find your way to ‘be’ during this time. A way to live that will enable you to look back and be proud of how you coped; proud that you considered those beyond your home; proud to have supported The Abbey; proud that you allowed yourself, your children and other people to be human.

Take care.

Mrs D-C