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‘Nothing is forever’. ‘Endings are just new beginnings’.

Complementary or contradictory statements? I have found the phrase, ‘Nothing is forever’, an especially comforting phrase over the years. 

Not that long ago, when one of my children was in an especially dark place, just saying those words to her and me gave me something to hold on to – that, no matter how bad things got, they would get better.  Things change, life moves on, and for most of us, bad times get better.  It is also a way of making us reflect on not taking things for granted, but to try and appreciate what we have because somewhere down the line it will be gone.  Live in the moment.

‘Endings are new beginnings’ is also a lovely phrase.  It can be applied in so many ways. Each day, turning into night, and then back into day, reminds of stories from my youth of creation myths, in which the dying of the day and being consumed by darkness is burnt away by its rebirth each dawn.  In a larger sense, ‘Endings are new beginnings’ is a metaphor for life.  My dad helped me when I was a teenager to comes to grips with life and death - he gave me hope and belief that endings are just a step to something else.

Teaching is cyclic, and teachers live in a world of beginnings and endings.  The end of a school term or year is joyous (holidays!) and a little sad as pupils and colleagues leave.  Of course, every person’s time at Pilgrims’ must end as nothing is forever.  But too, for those leaving, it is just an opportunity, a doorway to something even more exciting.  So go on, take that chance, take those steps, grab that life.  Oh, but have a holiday first.  Everything is better after a holiday.

A blessing – in Maori, from New Zealand

Kia hora te marino,
Kia whakapapa pounamu te moana,
Kia tere te karohirohi.

May the seas be calm,
May the shimmer of summer
Glisten like the greenstone,
Dance across thy pathway.

Ma Io koutou e manaaki, e tiaki, i nga wa katoa.
May your God bless you and protect you for all time.

Matthew Shroff
Director of Wellbeing

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