Welcoming Summer

Brendan Largay, Head of School
Post Date: June 7th, 2019
Brendan Largay

Happy summer everyone! It has arrived as it usually does, just in time.  

As we drift into these lazy days, I find myself reflecting on a remarkable year here at Belmont Day. In many ways, I look on it as almost two years in one—pre-Barn and post-Barn—with a seismic shift in our school’s physical plant, and daily experience right in the middle of things. In every way, this year has been transformative for our school, and I am confident that it has been transformative for your child as well. This faculty has been extraordinary, as they are every year, in delivering the program and the heart that our students need to thrive. This year, navigating the addition of the Barn they have gone above and beyond. We adopted a mission statement, the school’s first in its proud history. And at every turn, we see children flourishing as they gleefully anticipate summer break.

This year, we witnessed the loss of one of our nation’s greatest poets, Mary Oliver, who wrote one of my favorite poems which I will leave here for you to read, consider, and celebrate along with the arrival of summer. The poem asks a question that has been hanging prominently in the third grade classroom all year long, and it is one that means a great deal to me as the head of a school that seeks to inspire and challenge students and faculty alike each and every year:

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

With your one wild and precious life?

May your summer be wild and precious, and may you take the time you need in answering Ms. Oliver’s question. Thank you for another wonderful year.

The Summer Day

Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean-

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don't know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

—Mary Oliver

Click the B to listen to this message at Blue Handprint Studios!

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