Thankful for Winter?
A reflection by Anne-Marie Fenn, Head of School
Nature very often offers us opportunities for reflection and valuable reminders. This winter’s weather has allowed me to take a refresher course in between copious shovelfuls of snow. I have overheard so many adults (of all ages) share that this winter is just like the winters of their childhood; snow up to the windows, frigid cold temps that freeze the inside of your nose when you breath, too many layers of bundled clothing hindering movement and restlessness from being cooped up for longer periods of time.
In my memories the long, dark days dragged on and on for much longer than then they do now – it’s already much brighter in the early evening. The abundant snowfalls brought us out to help family and neighbors shovel driveways and paths then joyfully we would spend hours in the snow – sledding, building forts and caves, snowball fighting, making snowmen and snow angels. With an exhausted mitten supply, numbed fingers and rosy cheeks burned from the cold, we begged mom to once again, let us return to romp in our frozen playground.
No doubt, it wasn’t that way in every winter season; still my perceptions of these experiences and impressions became my collective memory and belief. I remember as the child in me remembers. That is the valuable reminder – children experience, retain information and remember differently from adults. Children live in the here and now without grand long term goals and ambitions; they are developing attitudes and ideas from impressionistic experiences in the world around them and as they look to the eyes and actions of the adults in their world to guide them and mirror back to them how wondrous, capable and valued they are. They are as unique as the billion – well this year quadrillion- snowflakes that cascade seemingly constantly from the winter sky.
I have faith that the earth will warm once again; the grand living miracles will reoccur. Be mindful; take occasional notice of perhaps just one of the tiniest miracles that nature offers as a reminder that childhood is also a fleeting and evolving season. It is as Dr. Montessori realized so long ago; a very precious time; demanding and deserving of our patience, respect, love, responsibility and attention.