Amanda Yates is the Associate Principal of the Richmond Middle School in Hanover, NH, and a facilitator of the Upper Valley Restorative Practices Group. She has spent most of her career in Education in the Upper Valley.
We’re not the only state to claim our own fifth season. Here it’s Mud Season. In Alaska, the big melt is called Spring Break Up. But whatever the name, this transition from winter to spring signals a reconnecting to the land.
Looking out on the canvas of fresh snow that now blankets the trees and hills of our region, I realize that the artificial boundaries we create like fences, roads, and property lines are gone. They’ve all but vanished. And when I head out on skis, across the dirt road from my house, up along my neighbor’s cow path hill, over the crumbling old stone wall, and into the upper pasture I’m struck by the fresh, undisturbed vista before me.
Many families avoid controversial topics during the holidays, but as my own family has shown me, this can be a missed opportunity to learn more about one another, to share what we’re learning and passionate about, and to practice constructive dialogue.