I went in to work in my classroom today.
The air was quiet…too quiet. One might say it was “dead”.
A building which usually fizzles with energy, when empty, lies in eerily quiet nothingness.
The decorations for the St Patrick’s Day that never was, and the notes on my whiteboard, are colourfully tragic reminders of how this virus lifted us out of our schools, giving no heed to sentiment or custom.
There is a calmness that made me shiver… all energy is stilled.
It’s as if the building is holding its breath…waiting.
And then, I heard a voice outside.
A familiar voice of a staff member downstairs. He didn’t know I was there. But I heard him.
And so I let go MY held breath, switched on my computer and logged in to my other world.
Then, I swung open the windows, played Musical soundtracks at full volume, and sang along as I worked.
I’m sure he heard me.
And in creating small noises, I reminded myself, and him I hope, that all it will take to reignite the energy in our beautiful cold building, is individual noises.
And individual noises, EVEN when complying with social distancing, will still build and grow into big noises; collective noises, noises which create energy.
While my first reaction was sadness at the “empty chairs at empty tables”, I think about the noises; the voices of the students who will eventually sit back on these seats, at these tables; each one a vital note in the song that is our school.
Our school is more than a building.
It’s an energy, created by the voices that combine to makes its noise; to sing its song.
And although we might be quiet right now, there is still a murmer…
A murmer that begins as soft, quiet, individual, but that will soon be together, performing once again, in harmony and syncopated rythyms.
We will sing again and these tables are only empty momentarily.
And the building will once again breathe and our air will be noisy and “awake” again.
“Awake”, not “alive”… it never died.