In Honor of the People of Ukraine

Head of School Dr. Meera Viswanathan at The Ethel Walker School shares a reading of T.S. Eliot’s poem Ash Wednesday, in honor of the people of Ukraine as they struggle against the brutal and unprovoked invasion of their country, as well as all those entrapped in areas of conflict in the world. 

T.S. Eliot wrote this major poem after his conversion to Anglicanism in 1927. It was published three years later in 1930. It is a poem about the difficulty of spiritual belief, and addresses the issues of hope, despair and the possibility of redemption and transcendence in an age of uncertainty. 

It is fitting that we as a community recognize the people of Ukraine and their plight today, on the eve of the Christian holiday, Ash Wednesday, a day of religious observance and fasting, which marks the beginning of the season of Lent – a solemn time of self-reflection and introspection. Whatever our religious orientation, if any, the struggle to find meaning and a way forward to peace in a disordered and confusing world must be at the center of educational aspiration.