A Thing of Beauty

It is hard to think that the conclusion of my Harpeth Hall journey has come.  Much like the shift in mood after a long anticipated trip when we realize we are making the loop back toward home, I am full of gratitude for the adventures, friendships, and lessons I have gained along the way.  Harpeth Hall has been, in the words of Keats, a “thing of beauty” for me and for so many students, teachers, and alumnae.  We know our school is so much more than the beauty of the campus — although as I gaze out my window at this moment, I appreciate the care and intention of carving out this place of beauty in Nashville for these girls and young women to learn and study.  After a first step on this campus, no one could question the value we place on this endeavor of educating girls.

Keats continues: “A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.” That kind of beauty is far beyond the physical, it lives in the soul.  Here it can only mean the connection of the students and faculty and their mutual purpose of building the foundation of a full life of integrity and learning.  Together we continue to strive to make ourselves, our school, and our world a little better every year.  We accomplish that goal by knowing, as one alumna said, “At Harpeth Hall, girls matter – they really matter.”

My mind is spinning with memory and a thousand lessons left untaught, but with the assurance that enough has been said.  The longer we teach, the more we realize there are only a few things worth saying, but many ways to say them and hear them.  I remain forever grateful for the opportunity I was given to be a part of this community of people, and to learn so much along the way.  I am filled with hope for a world with our girls in it, doing great things; but more importantly, being great people.

On this final blog entry, the only words which “bear repeating” are not mine but those of Edward Estlin Cummings.  I agree that we must continue to “dive for dreams.”

dive for dreams
or a slogan may topple you
(trees are their roots
and wind is wind)

trust your heart
if the seas catch fire
(and live by love
though the stars walk backward)

honour the past
but welcome the future
(and dance your death
away at this wedding)

never mind a world
with its villains or heroes
(for god likes girls
and tomorrow and the earth)
e.e. cummings




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