It’s hard to believe, as I look out at the falling snow, that a week ago I was snorkelling in the Florida Keys. Last Friday, with the sun beaming down on me, I slipped into the refreshing waters of the Gulf of Mexico, put my head down and swam away from the boat and into another world.
The captain had stopped at a shallow ‘sponge garden’ that is part of the Key West Wildlife Refuge. As you would expect, a sponge garden contains many different types of sponges. But, more importantly, it functions as a nursery for young fish. The fish are either yellow or brown because they are still young and have not fully developed their colours. As I kicked with my fins and swam along the surface, I was amazed by the multitude of young fish below me.
As I floated on the surface of this beautiful scene, I reflected on how the sponge garden is like Elmwood. We provide a safe environment for our young charges to grow and develop so that they are ready for the open waters one day. It also struck me that although they do not yet have their full colours, you can already see how brilliant they are going to become.
I saw some of that brilliance this week, with Sophia’s excellent leadership of Arts Week and Maya’s organization of the Pantene Beautiful Lengths Hair Drive to support cancer patients. I’ve seen these students develop from enthusiastic girls into remarkable young women. I can only imagine what they will achieve when they get out into open waters. Their metamorphosis is almost complete and I can hardly wait to see the impact they will have on the world.