The Roman Emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius wrote, “You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realise this and you will find strength. For very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within your thoughts, in your way of thinking. Dwell on the beauty of life.”
Despite these words originating in the second century, perhaps they resonate with us as we enter the middle of term, with its focus on learning and life. Deep thinking and learning, assessment periods, community events, fullness of activity, surrounded by late autumn beauty. Whilst many still feel the after effects of 2020, and we watch with despair those people and places still grappling with the pandemic, it helps to be reminded of our human capacity for thinking, for reflection and for beauty. May we indeed find strength in it. This fortnight I have seen it in student endeavour, in staff engagement and in the beautiful surrounds of Siena.