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Principal’s Perspective: Like Tree Leaves

Aug. 08, 2023
Principal HyeRan Kim-Cragg at the Emmanuel College Graduation and Convocation ceremony on May 11, 2023. (Minh Truong)

Principal HyeRan Kim-Cragg at the Emmanuel College Graduation and Convocation ceremony on May 11, 2023. (Minh Truong)

July and August are academically quiet months, with most faculty and students off campus. It is a time to do things that rejuvenate and renew. I am grateful to our staff who remain on campus, focused on making sure everything is ready to welcome students back when the busy fall season arrives. 
This summer, I have been meditating on trees, especially their leaves. I find their summer life cycle amazing: their foliage is so lush; their greens so dark and vibrant. The gifts bestowed by trees greatly enrich the lives of their human siblings. They provide us with places to sit and rest, enjoying the cool breeze while admiring the dappled light and gentle laughter of dancing leaves. We are deeply aware of how their well-being is inseparably connected to our own. 
I recently learned that trees produce significantly more leaves than they actually need in order to live. This is because they are preparing for a calamity—bugs or disease or fire. How resourceful they are about ensuring their own survival and sustenance! This way of being inspires me to reflect: how can we work with passion and exuberance to produce our own abundance of blessings? Blessings that will contribute to our resilience during the difficult times that inevitably visit every life. The swaying tree canopy overhead reminds me that Emmanuel’s efforts to offer students every opportunity to live and practice their full spiritual lives contribute to this goal. 
As we head toward another full academic term, I pray that all of us have a restful summer and spend good quality time for our own renewal. Whether you’re taking time off or are hard at work producing your abundance, I invite you to find a quiet moment to look closely at the leaves of nearby trees and find inspiration in them! 
— Principal HyeRan Kim-Cragg 

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