A ‘Word From the Bird’


“Be like the bird that, passing on her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing that she hath wings.” Victor Hugo

Happy New Year, on behalf of the HDCH staff and students I bring a hearty cheer to all of you as we set out into 2018 in faith and hope.

As some of you know, the poem above was read to me regularly as a child and is partly where my childhood nickname, “The Bird,” came from. That nickname became the impetus for the title to this blog.

I was reminded of this poem as I came back to work late last week. I came by the school a couple of times just to do some work, and it was amazing to walk in and remember what the school was like the last time I was here. The last December memory I had of HDCH was a tired one, a feeling of exhaustion. It was the Friday before the Christmas break, it had snowed that morning and ‘Should this be a Snow Day?’ questions were floating around the school. Still, people were mostly of good cheer. There was this tired excitement in the air for students and staff, the break was coming and we were looking forward to it but we also had things to get done. And then, by the end of the day, the school got pretty quiet pretty quickly. I remember a video call I had scheduled for that afternoon with a fellow principal from another Christian school; the conversation was fun and lacked the typical task focus we have. We were both excited to get into Christmas break mode; we were admitting our tiredness and talking about our break plans and wishing each other well. It was a nice way to close up 2017, and it was the last thing I did before I closed my laptop, walked out the door and ‘rested on boughs too slight.’

When I walked back into the office last week, I felt like no time had passed. (I think schools have a way of holding on to time.) And yet, I knew that I had ‘passed on my flight’ and had rested for two weeks, even if the boughs were too slight to hold me any longer. Walking back into the school gave me hope, brought me energy, and I could feel myself getting excited about this new calendar year: the renewal of a new year, the hope in the Lord, a commitment to doing Kingdom work, and a vision that is rooted in being a Christian High School for the whole district of Hamilton and surrounding areas. All this was in mind and heart as I was walking up the walk of HDCH. All this gives me wings and makes me sing.

I invite you to consider your wings — maybe even sing — and fly with me into 2018.

Nathan Siebenga

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