You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.
This has always been a favourite song, ever since I first heard it. It has the same impact as songs like 'You are the wind beneath my wings': not necessarily great poetry, great melody or great harmony but with a certain something that touches my heart strings.
When I was little, first of all I wanted to be an opera singer after discovering 'Carmen' at a very young age. Then I read 'The Small Woman' (a biography about Gladys Aylward - Google it) and decided I wanted to be a missionary. More realistically, after what was a profound experience for young me, I latched onto teaching and that never changed.
The 'experience' was this.
When I was in the top juniors at primary school, the infant teacher (it was a three class village primary school) needed to leave school half an hour or so before the end of the school day for a while. The head decided that he would put two of us top juniors in the class to look after the Infants (you couldn't do that nowadays) and to read them a story.
When my turn came the infants were obviously in a lively mood and ended up reducing me to tears as I returned to my own classroom. The head, in his wisdom, sent me back in the next afternoon and, I strongly suspect, read them the riot act in between. I had a wonderful time and, when I got home, I am told that I announced very firmly that I wanted to be a teacher and I wanted to teach little ones. I suspect that my parents were most relieved that the opera and missionary phases had vanished into thin air!
So I became a teacher after completing a Cert. Ed. and, apart from time off to have a family, that's what I have always been.
Today is the end of that journey.
Yesterday we had a special assembly. There are three of us retiring, reflecting seventy years of contact with Newlands Spring School, one way or another. The head said various kind and lovely things about us all. We were presented with cards from each year group (more about that in another post), bouquets of flowers and some rather nice looking (proper) champagne. We presented gifts to the school. Then, to finish, the whole school stood and sang to us, in two parts, 'You raise me up'.
Now we have a good name for music at our school. The singing was stunning, really beautiful. It is one of my favourite songs anyway and it utterly reduced me to tears - and I wasn't the only one.
The deputy head produced a box of tissues and handed them round! At the end of the day 'my' parents presented me with gifts and cards. Then parents of children I used to teach also came to see me and offer their best wishes. It was highly emotional and very lovely!
Just today to get through now! And this evening's party!
But now, guess what . . . coffee time!