We Draw Closer

Photo taken by Valerie Friedel
Photo taken by Valerie Friedel

Traditionally, the game continues until there is only one chair remaining. And the last person to sit is determined the winner. Not this time.

Yes, only one chair remains.


In this version, the goal is to share. Each time the music stops a chair is taken away. Not a person. In this version it is not about I. It is about we. The first time I saw this photo I almost cried. So beautiful. So innocent. So honest.

The perfect metaphor for teamwork.

Every day there is loss. Yet, it always brings us closer together. Always.

At Sandy Hill Elementary School, where I am fortunate enough to serve, we have encountered various setbacks. Some public and some private. But through it all we have remained one.

Our huddle has become a little closer. Our hugs a little tighter. And our resolve a little firmer.

Like the five-year olds in the photo above, we realize that seats have been pulled away. Of no fault to anyone. This is just how life works. And like the children above, we draw closer.

We will not allow anyone to be without a place to sit. That is not how it works. Staff members have taken on extra duties so that others can recover. Because they know that they would do the same for them. Children have been held and nurtured as if they were our own. Because they are. Our own. Whatever it takes to see that everyone has a place to sit. That is what this staff will do.

Never will we let the subtraction of a few chairs cause someone to have to sit out. To be removed from the game. We will continue to find a way. To see that everyone has a place to sit. It will not be easy and we will make mistakes along the way. But each time the music stops. And it will. We will not look for an empty chair. Rather we will look for each other. So that we may sit together.

I doubt that the children in the photo above had ever played this version of Musical Chairs before. Yet, they made it work. No they made it shine. Look at the smiles. Look at how they are leaning on each other for support. Magnificent.

And so must we. We have and will encounter days in which chairs will be removed. But that does mean that someone must sit out.


What that means is that we must simply find a way.

And we do.

And we will.

As long as there is one chair remaining, everyone will have a place to sit.

Because at Sandy Hill Elementary School we know how to handle adversity.

We draw closer.

“In those days, we finally chose to walk like giants and hold the world in arms grown strong with love
And there may be many things we forget in the days to come,
But this will not be one of them.”

Brian Andreas





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