Here we are, deep into November, which is competing aggressively against April for the title of “cruelest month.” The curve that we flattened over summer is bending upward again, returning us to our household bubbles. I’m particularly missing daylight and sunshine – as I draft this message in the late afternoon of a grey, rainy day, dusk is already setting in. With weeks to go until the days start getting longer, it is more important than ever that we find ways to let the light in. Recently, I’ve drawn inspiration from our community’s celebration of Diwali and the hope it symbolizes. It is a call to let go of all the past year’s worries and troubles, and to celebrate the beginning of all things new, both in nature and humanity.
I’m also drawing inspiration from you. You’ve all demonstrated an incredible capacity to keep UFV’s light shining through dark times. Be proud of how far you have come and be patient with yourself and each other. Continue to practice kindness, which is another way to let light in. And if you’ve noticed any of our students or alumni practicing remarkable kindness, consider nominating somebody for the Alumni Association’s Kindness Matters Award.
Today is National Child Day, and in the most recent guest post on the President’s blog, Christine Slavik and Monique Goerzen highlight the significant role nature plays in the health, safety, and well-being of our children. We can all learn from children’s ability to find excitement, peace, and resilience in nature. I know I feel best when I get outside daily, and, as often as I can, explore our region’s beautiful trails with Mo and our pups.
I hope you will take the time to read this thought-provoking post, and consider ways that you can connect with the great outdoors to positively affect your mental and physical health. You can also check our website for other wellness resources and ideas.
Ending on another note of light, I enjoyed being a contestant in this week’s Breakfast Cook-offkicking off UFV’s Employee United Way campaign. It was a fun and light-hearted event with lots of laughs – something I think we needed this week. The campaign runs until December 1, so there’s still time to make a donation to the UFV Student Emergency Fund, the United Way, or both.
Wishing you all light and warmth,
Joanne MacLean, PhD
President and Vice-Chancellor