I cannot believe that we are now on the cusp of half term and what a strange half term it is going to be without the distractions that we relished in pre-Covid days: going around the shops with friends, heading out for a coffee, going to the theatre or the cinema or just popping around to a neighbour.
Covid-19 and the lockdown have made us re-evaluate our lives. There are those moving out of cities keen for more space or a different way of living and all that we previously took for granted, such as our daily journey to school or work, our brushes against our fellow man (or woman) and our daily irritants are all swept away, down the river of memory. We are all currently in a hiatus between the lives that we took for granted and those that will return – and they will return. The High’s corridors will echo with laughter again, Year 13 will dance out of school at the end of their time with love in their hearts and clapped by the school for their contributions to our community just as round eyed, excited Year 7s will stand on the threshold of their future school breathless with excitement.
This strange grey world that we are living in is a suitable break, just as half term is and a time for us all to pause, and make the time to read, to think and to live purposefully. Rosemary Haig Brown, previous Headmistress of our school wrote in July 1906 that the pupils of the time should ‘let no day be aimless’ and in Carlyle’s words that ‘when you are not resting, work; when you are not ill, be well: when you are not miserable, be happy.’ This isn’t as hard as it sounds, it is not saying that you must either work or rest, be happy or miserable. What it is saying is that joy comes from a deliberate life. Rather than just spending time, spend it deliberately. If you want to rest and read, then make the time to do just that and make it a really special moment that you appreciate and consciously enjoy.
I am well aware that this time of lockdown is exhausting for us all whether staff, learners, parents, pupils, siblings, family or friends. Please, take time to rest over half term, to connect to others and to be kind both to yourself and to those around you. These are not easy times, and finding the balance is hard. Whatever you do over the next week, do it consciously, do it for yourself, and return refreshed, rejuvenated and ready for whatever faces us.
Marina Gardiner Legge