Blowing in the Wind
Open to change
by Brian Radcliffe
Suitable for Whole School (Sec)
To explore our understanding of our openness to personal change (SEAL theme: Self-awareness).
Preparation and materials
- You will need a leader and three readers.
Leader: Do you have a favourite month of the year?
Reader 1: I love December because it has Christmas near the end of it. I love the colour, the presents, the special events and parties. I like it when I’m warm and cosy inside, looking out at the frost and snow.
Reader 2: I much prefer July. Everything is running down towards the summer holidays. The hard work of the previous three terms in school is over. The days are long and usually warm. It all seems so relaxed.
Reader 3: Yes, but I usually get bored by the end of the school holidays. I want a project to motivate me, something to get my teeth into. That’s why I’d plump for September.
Leader: What about March? That’s where we are right now. What does March have to attract us?
March is one of those months that’s often associated with a particular type of weather. April is notorious for showers. June is supposedly getting hot. March, however, is the month for winds. Historically, it’s the month when strong winds sweep in, usually from the southwest, often laden with storms and rain. It may be cold, it may be mild, but the wind is frequently strong and gusty. Apparently, it’s to do with the mild air from the Atlantic meeting the cold air from the Arctic and their relative high- and low-pressure systems interacting with each other. Air from the high-pressure system rushes to fill the void in the low-pressure system.
Wind can have a dramatic effect when it arrives. If anything is a little loose, like a roof tile or a dead branch on a tree, a strong wind whips it away and a repair becomes necessary. Wind may blow away rubbish from where you live, but it only deposits it somewhere else, causing mess for someone else to clear up.
Wind is also a useful source of renewable power, providing 11.5 per cent of electricity generation in the UK in 2016, outstripping the amount of electricity generated from coal in the same year.
Finally, wind is also important in nature as a whole because the wind disperses seeds from both trees and plants, enabling new stock to develop away from the competing claims of the parent. So, you see, wind is primarily about change.
Time for reflection
Leader: Are you ready for a change? Spring is often a time for renewing our motivation. Milder weather, longer days and a more optimistic frame of mind can have the effect of encouraging us to initiate new ventures.
First, we need the clearing-out effect of the March winds, though, so let’s look at the rubbish in our lives that might need dealing with. We could start by looking at our health and fitness. Maybe it would be a good idea to loosen up the muscles that have lain dormant for the winter. It might also be useful to take a look at our diet, ditch the junk food and eat our five a day.
However, there’s other rubbish we may want to deal with, too: habitual behaviours, negative frames of mind, unsupportive friendships and taking rather than giving. Such lifestyle issues may be holding us back. We can, to some extent, choose to deal with these, let them go and feel better for it.
Next, let’s take a look at things that could do with being more firmly attached and considered more important in our lives. Let’s think about things that are important, without which our life would be less secure, enjoyable and purposeful. Friendships would be a good example. They can easily drift. We can lose contact or become less close, only noticing when we desperately need advice and support. It’s the same with our commitment to a club, society or group. It’s easy, over the winter, to miss a few training sessions, rehearsals or practices. Maybe the weather’s bad, there’s something on TV or there’s a party to go to.
Wind can have a dramatic effect. It’s impossible to predict the exact direction from which it is coming, where it’s headed or how strong it’s going to be. In the Bible, wind is used as a symbol for the Holy Spirit. Christians believe that the Holy Spirit gives them strength and direction in their lives.
Are you up for a change? This March, why not let the breeze take hold of you? Clear out the rubbish, fasten the loose connections and be ready to explore new and exciting possibilities.
Thank you for the excitement of life and the fact that there are always opportunities ahead.
Please help us always to be open to new possibilities.
‘Wind of change’ by Scorpions