Head of Preschool, Lee Milner Reflects on 2020

 “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets her wings”. This is a quote from the 1946 movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. 

The ringing of bells is often used to symbolize peace and freedom. In many religions, the peal of a bell is said to be the voice of angels or the sound of revelations. Bells have been a powerful public and private symbol throughout recorded history. As Wendell Westcott writes in his book, Bells and Their Music, “The ringing voices of bells have comforted man in time of despair, warned them of impending danger, and accompanied them in battle, in festivities, and in worship.” We struggle to capture the mystery of a bell’s illusive sound as they hold a certain fascination, and the sound evokes a response of awe in the listener. 

The ringing of the beautiful bell gifted to the Preschool by our PR5 class of 2020 will also communicate messages to remind us of:

  1. Community – as the children will gather in their classes
  2. Freedom – as they run outside looking for the next adventure
  3. Kindness – as the PR5 class of 2020 honoured the life of our own little angel who left us too soon, MacKenzie Sloan Struwig; by engraving her name on the inside of the bell

2020 means something different to each of us.

2020 vision means that you can see with clarity and sharpness.

2020 has been a year that not only sharpened our vision, but all five of our senses:

  • The sense of sight, as we searched for a smile in each other’s eyes when all our faces have been half-covered by a mask.
  • The sense of smell, which we appreciated so much more after learning that one symptom of COVID-19 is the loss of olfactory functions; and we soaked in the aroma of the Spring rains and flowers, bringing renewed hope of new beginnings.
  • The sense of hearing, as we heard the school come alive once more after lockdown, with joyful sounds of children’s laughter.
  • The sense of taste, when the school could once again serve snacks and lunch to hungry little tummies.
  • The sense of touch, when we adapted our embraces from hugs and high-fives to elbow-pumps and foot-taps.

Our wish for the PR5 children graduating from our Preschool this year is to take the word BELL:

B be Brave

E be Exceptional

L be Luminous and shine

L be Limitless in spreading kindness.

I close with the nineteenth-century French Poem, Ring out the old, Ring in the New:

“Ring out the Old,

Ring in the New,

With heaps of luck

And joy for you

May all the months

Roll swiftly by

And bring success

Whatever you try” 

Let us ring out 2020 and ring in 2021, with heaps of luck and joy – mixed with success in whatever we try.

“Life is an endless process of self-discovery. May the years ahead continue to be characterized by empathy, compassion, objectivity and a willingness to take risks.”