Dear Columbans !

Greetings !

The key phrase in my message this month is "PARADIGM SHIFT" - we used to hear of this phrase quite a bit, a few years ago, and then it became cliched and thankfully, we stopped using it ! However, the experience of the last month sees us caught up in the whirl-wind of just such a paradigm shift !

Our lives could well be changing most significantly ! Over especially the second half of March, we moved out of our general modes of interaction and were sometimes forced into new ways of carrying on with our lives ! It's okay if the transition has not been without irritation, discomfort, a sense of loss, the challenge of unlearning old ways of response and learning new ones ! At least this has been my experience ! And I am very much, still in the transition !

However, what keeps me open to the change is that I believe that I am being called to a more positive and better way of being. That's what a paradigm shift does – it's not very gentle in it's movement - yet the earthquake does create awesome new forms !

At this time of living with and in the mystery – I leave you with a poem which was sent to me this morning with a person – an alumnus of St Columba’s - one of the noblest souls, I’ve recently met !

“It was March 2020...
The streets were empty, the shops closed, people couldn't get out. But spring did not know, and the flowers began to bloom, the sun shone, the birds sang, the swallows would soon arrive, the sky was blue, the morning arrived early.

It was March 2020...
Young people had to study online, and find occupations at home, people could no longer go shopping, or go to the hairdresser. Soon there would be no more room in hospitals, and people continued to get sick.

But spring did not know, the time to go to the garden arrived, the grass greened.

It was March 2020...
People have been put in lockdown. to protect grandparents, families and children. No more meetings or meals, family celebrations. The fear became real and the days were therefore similar.

But spring did not know, apples, cherry trees and others bloomed, the leaves grew.

OurPeople started reading, playing with their families, learning a language, singing on the balcony inviting neighbors to do the same, being supportive and focusing on other values.

People realized the importance of health, of suffering, of this world that had stopped, of the economy that has plummeted.

But spring didn't know. the flowers gave way to the fruit, the birds made their nest, the swallows had arrived.

Then the day of liberation came, people found out on TV, the virus had lost, people took to the streets, sang, cried, kissed their neighbors, without masks or gloves.

And that's when summer came, because spring didn't know. He continued to be there despite everything, despite the virus, fear and death. Because spring didn't know, he taught people the power of life.

Sincerely yours,

Principal, St. Columba’s School