“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” ~ Mother Teresa
In his book, The Alphabet of Grace, Fredrick Buechner speaks of the mystical presence that defines religion, which really cannot be named. Reading from his work caused me to stop and think about how The School at Kirkridge is ultimately about the beauty and grace that lives inside each of us, especially the children! With this belief we have gathered the support to start a school.
The School at Kirkridge! It is the School of Kirkridge, too. Even though it feels new, it is not. The energy and excitement about what is possible fills the air in the Farmhouse and through the fields as we prepare to open in September. As the children run and play the spirit of the past is palpable, an amazing grace. The wind makes its ways through the trees and eyes are wide open as the children explore the life cycle, finding tadpoles and other creatures in the abundance of the land. We are building on a strong and beautiful past. The spirit is with us at The School at Kirkridge; we are following in the footsteps of the dreams of John Oliver Nelson and those who joined him in his vision of Kirkridge.
The foundation is strong – and as a program of Kirkridge we are building on the shoulders of those who have come before us and those who lead now. We are learning from a procession of smart and imaginative people who believe that there is a kinder and gentler way to live in this world. We have that dream for the children, too. The archives of Kirkridge describe a vision of “an educating-participating community”. The founders of Kirkridge dreamed like we dream, that the people of Kirkridge could create a movement and vision for a brighter future. Educating young people who can go into the world, both kind and capable, making a difference. We are hopeful that the barrage of testing does not stamp out the light of creativity, that children can learn as they play. We are hopeful, like the great minds that have walked the hills and valleys of this mountain that we can help the children to go out into the world whole. We are hopeful that we can model and inspire young people to believe they can create change, beginning in their school and moving out into their communities.
Jean Vanier, humanist, philosopher, theologian, and author, says, “In children and young people a light is present. We must listen to children. We must hear what they have to say. They are people in whom that light of God exists. They will never be able to trust themselves unless someone trusts them.” We are blessed by the support from the community of Kirkridge. We are thankful to be a part of a history that values the deep and abiding knowledge that children each have a birth right gift – one that when nurtured expands the possibility of carrying the mission of Kirkridge into the world as people of hope, compassion, justice and service.