Wednesday, November 6, 2013

An Alumna Board Member Reflects on the Lantern Walk

Below is a letter from one of our Spindlewood Board Members Liz Hannibal Drury. Her three  sons attended Spindlewood. Now that the youngest has begun college, Liz has been given a sabbatical year from her middle school teaching position to complete her Masters in School Development at Harvard. She has given me permission to share parts with you. I though you would appreciate her response to my note on the Lantern Walk....

We look forward to Liz’s return to our community. In the meantime, she joins our board meetings by speaker phone. (Our next meeting is November 21. It is always an “open” meeting if you would like to join us at 7pm.)

Warmly, Susan

From: elizabeth drury []
Sent: Monday, October 28, 2013 10:53 PM
To: Susan Silverio
Subject: Re: Lantern Walk next Thursday, November 7 at 4:30pm

Hi Susan, 

This note could not have come on a better day. I have been a bit nostalgic about the boys' childhood, went back through the photo albums, and showed them to new friends in Cambridge....

I remember the Lantern Walk as a magical yet hauntingly challenging time. It seemed to mark a transition toward introspection that required community and a little candle in the soul. Oddly, or serendipitously, I feel those feelings again at this time. Perhaps I need to have my own little lantern walk of sorts here in Cambridge

 I love my experience at Harvard and am so very thankful for my experience of growth here. Many new friends, many young as my guys. As comes with awareness and growth, comes some discomfort as well. One thing working on me in this learning time is the conflict I feel about education. I am so dearly drawn to wanting to help the public school child, to really offer nourishment. I also see the trend toward strict testing and form, especially here in Boston Public Schools. The school I am at is a highly successful "turnaround" school which means the children of poverty have had the valuable experience of moving from violence and uncertainty of a failing school to a stable, highly functioning, much more peaceful experience. There is no doubt that there is good work going on here. However, I am adrift in my soul......knowing that really my wellbeing comes from God, not a person. Yet the aloofness (here) leaves me parched for a deeper and more meaningful, nourishing experience, myself. This has me wondering about the wealth of a true foundation for living that Waldorf kindergarten established in us. Education is so much more than the "thin" calling of the competitive test. And, paradoxically, there is no disputing that good is happening here..I am coming into a cold time and I just want to have a little light and warmth there at my school with me. I am dedicated to learning what I need to learn here, to being loyal to my commitment but I pray for a narrow path toward beauty out of loneliness. 

 And so I enter the dark time of cold, with a hope of a little shelter for my tiny candle. 

 My best to you, and such gratitude for the lesson of your loving tutelage over the years. 

Love, Liz