Autumnal Leaves

I do very much hope that you had a lovely break, over half term – if you had a break, that is, I know that some will have worked, fulfilling their duties. If you did get that break it did need to be restful. The long half term behind and ahead, as the winter nights draw in, as the temperature drops and the wind increases, as the leaves descend and as we feel the impending pressures of a long winter and / or Christmas, there can be a sense of foreboding and it can be dispiriting.

All that said, the national news headlines do not fill us with any more joy. There have been some ‘wins’ at COP26 but it feels that, thus far, there haven’t been any deep and lasting changes promised. COVID comes and goes; drifts in and out of our collective conscience but it’s never too far away, whether we are thinking about it or not. The shenanigans in parliament have, yet again, brought unintended shame on politicians as a group – they’ll not all like that you know? Some MPs really do care! (And thank you to Sarah Champion MP who visited Oakwood this Friday – she continues to endeavour to invest in our schools / college and our community).

There are good things though to remind us that all isn’t doom and gloom. We mustn’t catastrophize. There are things to keep us cheery. In that vein the return after the break has been really quite positive – so well done you! The prospect of a safe and quiet bonfire night seems a real prospect – after years of nonsense and, in some communities, real fear. ‘Bake Off’ is rattling along quite nicely, with the ‘Jurgenator’ destined to take the title. Rotherham beat Sunderland 5-1 last Saturday – what’s not to celebrate?

The point is that at this time of year it is important that we all try to identify, seek out and notice the positive – it’s there even if it takes some finding. This time of year can be wonderful, quite beautiful, if we choose to see what is there, often in front of our eyes.

We can collectively look into the winter months knowing that we are in good shape and with a clear plan for improvement and a gathering momentum. The dark days of 2020 and early 2021 aren’t quite a distant memory but the future is something we can now see.

‘I spent my summers bottling peaches and my winters rotating supplies. When the World of Men failed, my family would continue on, unaffected.’ Tara Westover

Enjoy your weekend and stay safe.