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March: The Season of Change

In a speech for New Year’s Day I said that January was my favorite month of the year. I think that March is maybe the month I like the least. Of course, there are some good things about March. There is spring vacation which is nice. The flowers are blooming. Winter is going away. We can feel the season changing. These are nice things.

But March is also the time when some things end. Students that we know and like are leaving. They graduate. They leave our city. They go to their next adventure. We wish them all the good things that are waiting for them, but we will miss them too. It is hard to see people go. It is hard to see things change.

And this is also a hard season to remember that only a few years ago there was a terrible earthquake and tsunami that took so many people. We must always remember them, and we must remember that they are gone from our world. The Tohoku area is still so badly damaged, and we hope more good things will come there soon.

I sometimes think about what these sad times are teaching us. March is a very strange time of the year. It seems to be a time of telling us that good things will come. There are some cold days in March, but then we see the first flowers of spring. There are things that end, and sad times to remember, but then we see the beginning of a new school year coming towards us. We see our friends leave our city for their new lives, but we may see them again in the future, and be grateful for our friendships too.

Maybe March is not so bad. Maybe the wind that is first cold will change to be warm. Maybe the things we lose in our lives tell us that life is still beautiful, and that the colors of spring will come soon. Maybe we should remember the good times we have had this last year at Otemae and to think about the people who support us and help us every day.

I hope that this school year has been a good one for you. There have been many things you have experienced. There were many classes, and many tests, and many times with friends too. You challenged and tried a lot of different things, and Otemae is a good place for you to develop new talent and grow your mind. You are bigger and smarter than you were last year. You know more. You learned more. You can think about things more deeply than before. You can do more things than you could before.

Maybe March is the time of the year when we look back and see how far we have traveled. The spring break is coming and it will be a time for you to relax a few days. It is a time for you to collect your strength and to have a time to enjoy the new warm winds of springtime. This has been a year of change for me too. There have been some wonderful times, and there have been some dark days too. I am grateful to see my own children and my students grow and learn, but a few of my close friends have died this last year also.

March is the month that gives us a moment to think of these things. I am glad to be here at this moment with you. I think we should be grateful for the people in our lives and enjoy with our friends every chance we have. I hope you have a wonderful and fun spring vacation. Enjoy every day of it, and remember that changes that come for you are chances to learn and grow.