Every Tuesday afternoon Ambleside teachers write to parents about the week's contents to help support life-giving conversation on the ride home, over dinner, and over the weekend. One of my great delights as Head of School is to read about the ideas permeating the atmosphere of each class. Below is one of these emails, shared last week by our masterful 5th and 6th grade teacher, Mr. Hicks.
Parents, you would have been proud of and delighted with the children's community service work performed last Fri. afternoon at the War Memorial gardens. They worked hard, took the task solemnly, honored the fallen heroes, represented themselves and our school well - noted by many passersby - and seemed to glimpse the magnitude of the sacrifice by studying the 70 plus names, the several wars, and being schooled to consider that these heroes were all from our community, are of people we live with and families maybe we know, if not personally, then by neighborly kinship and regional proximity. Col. Miller was moved by their effort and demeanor, as well, and requested that we revisit in some weeks to tend again to weeds and grass and mulch, etc., as need arises this spring. You are, as always, welcome to join us, in this truly patriotic act of devotion.
It is fitting in this regard that we take up Frost's poem, "Tuft of Flowers," to see how it is that our solemn, sometimes lonely work as individuals puts us in touch with those who have gone before us, and have left behind touches of beauty for us to experience as we share in a common human experience.
In history this week, we read and reflect upon two fronts in Christian warfare during the 17th Century Europe: the Irish-English civil war involving Cromwell and James, that pitted Catholics against Protestants, as well as the Austria-Polish alliance against the Islamic Turks who besieged Vienna, and reignited the old impulses of the Christian Crusades against Islam.
In Ethics, we are studying the nature of forgiveness - the essential example of which is recalled in Christ's prayer from the cross: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." We shall explore the distinction that is developed in our text between aggravating and extenuating circumstances of guilt for trespass, and see what Jesus recommends in consideration of justice, punishment, and reconciliation, as is exemplified in His passion experience, about which we are reading in our Bible scriptures, as we venture toward Easter, and as He ventured into Jerusalem as a hero and toward a cross with criminals.
Have a richly blessed week,
Wm. S. Hicks