This is the week when I might make reference to Blue Monday – last Monday I think. However, not this year. Our run up to the Christmas break was tough but, as mentioned last week, that extra few days in January made all the difference and so our concept of Blue Monday, being the third working Monday in January, means that we’d be a week out of kilter with the rest of the economy – so we’ll let it pass.
But, goodness me, it’s been cold though. I know that everyone who’s worked in schools or colleges over the years will have their favourite and least favourite weather – mostly shaped by how the pupils or students behave, as a consequence of those climatic conditions. And just a note, anyone who says there is no evidence to suggest that a change in the weather can change the behaviour or mood of the masses has never worked in a school or college. I’ve really enjoyed it this week. I did have my thick winter warmer gloves on, when out on duty at Winterhill, Oakwood and Sitwell (TRC required me to stay in the Courtyard), which made all the difference – the hands were just that little bit less purple. It has been the light and the sky that have made being outside on duty worthwhile this week. When we leave the house in the dark, arrive home in the dark, a shaft of winter sunlight is worth so much more than a longer summer day. Whatever we receive infrequently comes to us as extra sweet; certainly not extra sweat, this week.
Sometimes in school or in college things seem to be dark. We all might have a run of challenges that we seem unable to shift or break. But, as with the milky but bright winter sun, we will all then get a moment of clarity, or of warmth, or of humility, which can lift the spirits and which in turn gives us that boost to go on, go further. When we are up to our necks in the school or college life it can be impossible to see all that is good. We can become consumed by the enormity of our challenges, the complications which others might bring to our doors. We all know, with our clear eyes, that there is good in all with whom we work (adults and children). We all know that, but it can be awfully difficult to see. Despite these moments we do know that there is a bright sun behind that cloud. There is calm beyond the hurricane. There is warmth when the frost has lifted.
So, stick at it this term. Stick at it with the work you have to undertake: be that exams or not. Stick at it with your friends – they really don’t mean what they’ve just said! Be patient. Be persistent, Be pragmatic. And be ready to accept the warmth of spring, the light of the longer day and the green shoots emerging. For it will come; just as that child will calm; just as your friend will apologise; just as those others will respond. It is all inevitable.
‘If you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm’. Frank Lane
Or maybe …?
‘Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative’. Oscar Wilde
Sadly, you might have to wait a little longer to be able to get out in the winter sunshine as a stormy belt moves across the country this weekend. Whatever the