Your browser is no longer supported

To get the best experience, we suggest using a newer version of Internet Explorer/Edge, or using another supported browser such as Google Chrome.

Principal’s Perspective: Watching the Stars

Jan. 15, 2024

Principal Kim-Cragg stands in the hallway of the Emmanuel College building

Meteorologists say that Canada had one of the warmest Decembers on record. Here in Toronto, this has meant that we have been having more rain, less snow and fewer sunny days. Personally, I did not miss snow as much as I missed the blue sky. What I yearned for most, however, was seeing the stars at night. The absence of the twinkling little stars was particularly painful when we went through the longest night in December. 
Stars are important in our lives. The Nêhiyawak (Cree) nation on the Prairies sometimes speaks of a star blanket that covers the earth from horizon to horizon. For many, the stars remind us of the ancestors who have gone before us and still look down benevolently upon our lives on Earth. Stars have a special meaning in some religious traditions of the world as well. The story of the Magi in the Gospel of Matthew, for example, is celebrated through the season of Epiphany that follows Christmas. The Magi, it is said, learned of Christ’s birth by watching the stars and were led by one bright star to take a journey into the unknown, bravely following that star to find the place where the new baby was born. 
While I missed watching stars during the break, I did not miss watching Korean dramas. One I enjoyed watching was a series called The Wind Blows, about a father suffering from younger-onset Alzheimer’s. Even while losing his memory and identity, the stars continue to hold his attention. While outside with his young daughter one evening, he points to the North Star and tells her to look for that star when she feels lost. He assures that even when he is gone, this star will be there for her. 
In a world of conflict, where heavy clouds in our hearts and minds may obscure the heavens, let us remember the stars are still up there and will appear again. Let us turn to our traditions of faith and our cultural and spiritual practises which can provide us with guidance that clears the mind—and opens the heart to a light from a place exceeding our limited human wisdom and vision. 
Above all, I wish you a hopeful beginning to 2024—a leap year and year of the Dragon! May you find joy and purpose in your life, and thus become stars to one another. I would like to express my sincere thanks to those of you who donated to the Annual Fund last year. Your generosity assisted students experiencing food insecurity, helped make the elevator accessible to all, and allowed Emmanuel to create deeply meaningful spiritual gatherings. 
—Principal HyeRan Kim-Cragg 

Read Next

Posted Tuesday, March 26

Listen to Barbershop Album Recorded by Emmanuel Students 65 Years Ago

Posted Tuesday, March 26

Principal’s Perspective: Fasting and Feasting