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This piece was requested by conductor Claire Caldwell to mark the retirement of Donald MacLean as principal of Dilworth School. I had known Donald when we were both on the staff of Epsom Girls Grammar School in the 1990s. At the announcement of his retirement he had read the well-known verses from the beginning of the book of Ecclesiastes, and it was suggested I might like to use that as the text of the new piece.
To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to gain, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.
-- Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 --
Text from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8