“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.”
Robert Louis Stevenson
This week, on Tuesday 22nd September, we saw the Autumn Equinox. The first official day of Autumn (tell it to the thunderstorms!) and the day that we celebrate a time of balance and wholeness as day and night are (almost) the same length and light and darkness find brief equilibrium. It is also a time when we traditionally celebrate the harvest and are ready to celebrate our successes – thanking ourselves and those who have helped and supported us thus far.
It can be difficult, given that we still find ourselves in a quarantine situation, to find things to celebrate and ways to celebrate those traditions that we would normally enjoy with family and friends. So this week, I have been thinking about the idea of the harvest and that age old adage that we all ‘reap what we sow’. It is a lovely harvest image that offers the promise of rewards for our hard work, or the contrary – a proverb often used to make us more aware that our actions will inevitably have consequences.
I feel lucky to have found myself as part of the Lancaster family as we move into the darker half of the year. All around me, I can see the fruits that are being harvested by the various members of our community – teachers, students, families, administrators and auxiliary staff – as we come together to support each other in these difficult times. There is a sense of unity and collaboration that is only possible due to the work that has clearly come before, in the building of relationships and the establishment of networks which allow us to understand that we share attitudes and interests and that there is an interdependence which relies on that delicately sown balance.
It is also true that what we do now is going to have a direct effect on what happens next. The way that we choose to participate in the community and support the other members during these times, will certainly play a part in our ability to return to ‘normal’ (not that we were ever normal, right?). Ensuring that students are getting the maximum benefit from the current situation so that we can smoothly transition to a hybrid or presential scenario when given the green light is a shared responsibility that we must all take seriously. We are charged with the duty of sowing the right seeds now, so that when the time comes, we are prepared for any number of scenarios – and that we are capable to be flexible and adapt when those scenarios inevitably change and fluctuate.
So, I am hoping that we can draw on the balance found in the universe, however temporary, to make sure that those seeds are able to embed and take root. After all, at some point, we will be reaping the results together.