The best news is that the students will be back in just a few days!
Next week is my favorite of the year, bar none. The cars and coaches pull up and the kids spill out, eager and overflowing with energy, squealing with delight as they connect and reconnect with each other and with the community. Opening day assembly will be on Friday morning, with all the students and all the faculty in attendance. The principal will talk about some aspect of the founding deed of gift, the topic for every opening day assembly since 1783. I'll sit on a bench in the assembly hall, listening, and trying very hard to actually see the students all around the room. It's surprisingly difficult with the shadows of so many other generations crowding in alongside them.
Some people only sing hymns at Christmas - for me, it's at opening day assembly. The school minister will lead us in singing For the Splendor of Creation with his great booming voice.....
"For the splendor of creation that draws us to inquire, for the mysteries of knowledge to which our hearts aspire,....for the unexplained remainder, for the puzzling and the odd: for the joy and pain of learning, we give you thanks, O God.......for the common life that binds us through days that soar or plod: for this place and for these people, we give you thanks, O God."
The bells have been silent all summer except to tell the hours, but they'll take up their second job now, calling students to their classes again.