This week, I’d like to write about new beginnings and seasons! Ecclesiastes 3:1-5 says,
‘To everything there is a season, a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones.
What great confidence this brings us to know that we can expect a warmer season after a colder one. If I think about life as a journey through the seasons, it makes perfect sense that summer will follow winter. Winter can be hard! Often, it’s a time for identifying what we need and creating a new vision for the future. It may also be a time to close old doors and to say goodbye.
Summer, however, is the time to step back, to celebrate, to acknowledge our progress and how far we’ve come. Summer is a time to thrive.
I think it’s fair to say that our Senior School students have had an experience of both seasons this year. Our Year 12’s are entering a beautiful season of summer. There is great hope and eagerness knowing that the next part of their journey is about to begin. Their transition into adulthood has arrived and it’s filled with curiosity about what lies ahead. On the other hand, there is some sadness, some remnants of winter! Relationships with staff and students, many of whom have become like family, are left behind to make way for the new. It’s a beautiful goodbye.
I do believe however, that goodbyes are a necessary rite of passage! The practice of saying goodbye goes back centuries with the first references in literature around 1565! It’s actually a contraction of “God be with ye”. The internet tells me that back in those days when people parted, they didn’t know when they’d see one another again without the means of communication we have today, and so their parting comments were a sincere and godly blessing asking God to be with them until they might meet again.
So, this term, we say farewell to our 12’s especially, but also to our Year 11’s who are also leaving winter and heading into Summer with great anticipation; starting to begin the journey towards adulthood. With heartfelt care, we ask God to be with our students as they journey forward.
I would personally like to take this opportunity to farewell the Kolbe community as I take up a new position as Principal of a Foundation Catholic Community in Madora Bay next year. I will take with me the memories of a wonderful five years at Kolbe Catholic College, but also some incredible learning about what makes a culture work and what makes a school successful. I’ve been privileged to experience both of these things at Kolbe and that is quite rare.
I thank all of you for teaching me about what a true community is. If I can create anything even close to the spirit of this wonderful place, I will be very lucky indeed.