Light and Hope – Children and a New Year

Like everyone, I was hoping to see the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn.  I was disappointed when it was not visible, as it was a cloudy night.  The next day a talented local photographer, Kevin Ting, captured it.

But of course, that is where this story begins.

The photo not only captures the sky and planets, it is centered on a town, my town.  I keep looking at this photo.  I am drawn in, because the lights of the town are as lovely as the lights of the planets.

Far and near, from the universe to a small town, they both come come together.  The common denominator is light.  And light gives us hope.

Light and Hope.

This is a year of hope, so I am ever grateful for light.  I notice and appreciate lights more than I ever did.  Somehow it gives me hope.  I find myself adding more lights to my home. My tree is ‘lights only’ and fires in the fireplace are more beautiful than ever.


I carefully watch children this year.  They already have hope.  Actually, they never lost it. They are the beacons of light.  They always notice light.  A flashlight is the greatest toy. Using a light table to view objects is wondrous for children.  We take for granted looking at stars and a full moon.  Children don’t.  It is a beautiful miracle for them to look into the sky.

Yesterday driving home, I saw a beautiful sunset.  By the time I got home there was a full moon.  I paid attention.

Children see the light and always have hope.  Children are our greatest teachers, especially this year.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I rise.  -Maya Angelou-

Happy New Year!


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
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98 Responses to Light and Hope – Children and a New Year

  1. Ritu says:

    Happy new year, Jennie 🥰🥰

  2. Dan Antion says:

    Happy New Year Jennie. Keep looking for the light, especially the light in the eyes of those children. 2021 will be brighter.

  3. quiall says:

    Happy New Year Jennie. That first picture should be put on cards and saved. It is serenity and peace and hope.

  4. Beautiful. Happy New Year, Jennie.

  5. beetleypete says:

    We could not see the special star either, due to low cloud. But the photo shows it off well, and your town reminds me of “It’s a wonderful life’.
    Light and hope go together, but the children still need you to appreciate their wonder.
    Happy New Year, dear Jennie.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Jennie says:

      I guess the photo does resemble “It’s a Wonderful Life.” That’s so nice! Yes, children need to appreciate their wonder. Thank you, Pete. Happy New Year.

  6. Your local photographer is great. He made a beautiful image of the conjunction and your town.

    I love the message of hope and light, Jennie. It’s wonderful and timely.

    Happy New Year to you and yours! 🥰

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Happy New Year to you. When we were Quakers we learned a song “Walk in the Light.” It is the credo of the Quakers.(How we went from Quaker to Catholic is a long story. But it turns out our spirituality fits in both places.)

  8. Beautiful and a bright light of inspiration! Happy New Year to you your students and all your loved ones?🍂🍮🍂🍮🔔🍮💓🎼🥂

  9. Lovely photos and thoughts. Healthy and happy new year to you, Jennie!

  10. Beauty is all around us if we just open our eyes to see it. Lovely post, Jennie. Maybe it will get people thinking more about how lucky we are to live in this beautiful world and take better care of it.

  11. Don Ostertag says:

    Happy New Year, Jeannie, and thanks for lighting up our lives.

  12. We should all strive to be a beacon of in whatever darkness surrounds us. Thank you for remiding me of that. Happy new year to you, your family, and the Aqua Roomers present and past!

  13. Francis Bacon said “In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.” While we may feel we have been living in darkness, it is in that darkness that we can see the hope of the light. Happy New Year

  14. Blessings and love in the New Year! ✨

  15. petespringerauthor says:

    Yes, children are always teaching. We need to pay attention to all the lessons they’re throwing at us. A fabulous new year to you, Jennie!

  16. Our skies were clear that night and we saw the ‘Christmas Star’…searching the skies and looking up helps us to remember we’re a part of something larger than ourselves.
    Light and hope – children continue that largeness.

    • Jennie says:

      I love this, Laura. You have a way with words. Thank you! I dearly wish we had a clear sky that night to see the Christmas Star. Perhaps a failed view made Kevin Ting determined to get that photo the following night. Things happen for a reason. Yes, children continue the largeness of light and hope!

  17. TanGental says:

    Happy new year and may even your tunnels be filled with light

  18. frenchc1955 says:

    Jennie, thank you for this important and deeply needed post! Happy New Year!

  19. frenchc1955 says:

    Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
    Please read this beautiful and important post from Jennie, the excellent teacher!

  20. varjakBaby says:

    This is short but beautiful, Jennie. Wow. You are so right about all of this. Light is hope, and children are the light of the future. So why not be hopeful?

  21. joylennick says:

    Jennie’s heart-warming piece says so much about hope and love, bless her, Teachers like her are precious. xx

  22. A lovely post Jennie and I have always traveled with hope and continue to do so.. nature and so many people that I meet offer that light that promises so much… ♥

  23. Shyamini says:

    Happy New Year.
    A teacher’s family is beyond the house…beyond the school.

  24. The children have hope, Jennie, it is the natural way for them. We have to feed the hope and not be negative.

  25. Lokesh Sastya says:

    I would like to say, “ Happy New year Jaani ”.

  26. Veena S. says:

    Lovely story about hope and looking at the sky. We were lucky to see the conjunction in the south west sky for 2 -3 days, of course first day was filled with excitement….then next with wonder, third day was ..we are still lucky? that’s it. no more views. Yes this a is year of much more hope and wiser by a year gone by.

    • Jennie says:

      You had three wonderful nights looking at the sky. Doesn’t it seem fitting that the conjunction, with all the hope and excitement it brings, happened this particular year? We certainly needed it! Thank you, Veena.

  27. Wow! You are living like in a fairytale. 😉 What an amazing town, and the interior one can see, like where elves are living. 😉 Michael

  28. Beautiful, Jenny. Just beautiful. Happy New Year.

  29. dgkaye says:

    A beautiful reminder for the gratitudes we take for granted Jennie ❤

  30. Darshak says:

    Light and hope!💫
    Happy new year!

  31. Rachael Carter says:

    I agree that kids are drawn to light. Everything is wondrous for them! Great post!

  32. Debasis says:

    Happy new year! 💐

  33. Pingback: Light and Hope – Children and a New Year – Children Global

  34. Thotaramani says:

    Hope is the only light when we darkness
    Everywhere. Especially in this pandemic time.
    The poem you wrote on hope is praiseworthy

    I check Email very rarely. Because it is pandemic time. I read and h be hope to each and everyone because everyone is trying their best in what they do.

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