heroes

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There would be no heroes
if there was no sorrow.
Think about this
if your heart breaks tomorrow.

I was in awe yesterday of the courageous students who stepped forward and spoke up in the wake of unspeakable tragedy. I know they would exchange this hero status for their normal teenage lives in a heartbeat if it meant their friends had not been gunned down and their generation had not been held hostage to the gun violence that has reached epidemic proportions.  Look for the light to emerge from the darkness and there you will find your heroes-these kids have brought a new light to these dark times.

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success

 

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.

 

SUCCESS
is achieved
IF
you are lucky enough
to love what you do
AND
the people
you do it with.

 

 

 

I don’t often go out with colleagues. Usually by the end of the week I’m exhausted and ready to be home. This week one of my teacher friends wanted to go out and celebrate some good news I received about some recent health concern. Another colleague joined us at a local pub and we had such a wonderful time talking about school and home.  I have always been grateful for my job. Last night I was reminded how grateful I am for the relationships my job has brought into my life.

Slice of Life Challenge 2018   #MicroPoetry

blossom

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I walked into my room
dropping bags to the floor
and shedding the vesture
of an assiduous day
when the yellow petals
grasped my gaze
and your loving gesture
grabbed my heart.

 

I have the most wonderful husband in the world, but he has never been accused of being a romantic. He has always been more practical than poetic, more playful than pensive. He knows sunflowers are my favorite. I came home from a long day in a long week and was caught off guard with the bouquet behind me.  I stared in stunned silence at those flowers and realized that he was thinking of me when he saw them, bought them, brought them home, placed them in water, and set them upon my bureau. Each step was an act of love that will continue to  ‘blossom’ long after each petal fades.

kindness

 

Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 9.38.40 PMThe stone
you exported
from the far side
of the earth,
carrying the grace
of that sacred land
and the kindness
of your generous soul,
rests gratefully
in the hand
         and heart
 of your humbled friend.

 

 

My beautiful friend and yoga instructor, Kim, recently went on retreat to India. I asked if she found herself in a place where she was filled with awe, if she would reach down and gather a pebble to bring back a piece of that magic. Last night at yoga she gifted me a smooth brown stone from the other side of the world. She described the beautiful mountains and palm trees surrounding her where she gathered it. To remember me when she was immersed in such an experience was such a generous act of kindness. That stone (and my friend) will always have a special place in my heart!

fox

Nearly unnoticed
clearly unfocused
scampering Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 12.38.24 PM
meandering
across the onding
my camera
responding
to the flash
of vermilion
an uncommon civilian
who pounces
on prey
or perhaps
just to play
cresting the edge
of the blanketed field
making her way                                                                             #micropoetry  #SOL18
to a den
unrevealed.

 

This fox is becoming less shy as each month goes by.  She leaves tracks that seem to randomly wander in circles, but when I spy her spring into the air and land with a fury, I am certain there is no randomness in her movements. Hoping to spy some kits this spring!

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thirst

Screen Shot 2018-03-19 at 6.00.43 PMThere is a thirst
I cannot quench
and a hunger
not satiated.
To learn
to grow
to understand,
my soul is motivated

Sandwiched between snow days, district workshops, and parent teacher conferences I was invited to attend a conference on best practices in reading and writing instruction in Massachusetts. Though I have literally written a book focusing on best practice, I create space in my heart and mind -open to receiving new insights and learning each day. And so I leave my family, my schools, my cozy bed for two days (and two states away) to feed my soul and grow my mind so that I can better serve those children who may not even know how thirsty they are.

walking toward

 

 

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I am beginning to see

she’s not walking away

from the life we have built

but walking toward

the life she is building

for her future…

and she’s not walking alone.

 

 

My daughter headed back to college yesterday after her ‘spring’ break.  It is so hard to say goodbye but I am so proud of her. She knows what she wants and she is making it happen. I would not want anything different for her. And so my heart breaks at the same time that it soars.  This is what all those tough parenting moments bring us to…and it is so bittersweet!

breathe

 

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Breathe in.
       
Breathe out.

And in between

lies a peace

conceived of

promise

and surrender.

 

Continuing my mindful practice this year…

I found that I wanted to be more present and purposeful in my life (even though I thought I had always tried to do that) so I have added some practices to my life that are truly helping. I take a Yin Yoga class each week (mediation infused postures), I have added books to my library (Wherever You Go There You Are, Happy Teachers Change the World, Sitting Still Like a Frog, Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness, Mindfulness for Teachers, etc) and I use an app called Headspace every day for 3-15 minute meditations as well as one called Calm that also added a classroom app free for teachers this year.

What I am discovering…

No one can stop time, but we can extend each moment with mindful attention.  Each breath is we take is a conduit for life; taking in what we need and releasing what we don’t. With each breath we can invite peace in ,and expel distress. With awareness we can choose our response to each moment, but when we rush through our days focusing on the moments ahead rather than the one we are in, we relinquish that choice.
I hope you take some time today to slow down, breathe, and choose peace.

wait

You poured out your

gratitude and I drank  it inWAIT

like the goblet receives wine,

realizing the gift of

silent consideration

was all you asked of me. 

To talk would

break the spell that

held our hearts as one

in a space of compassion.

 

Once a year our school district has an amazing day of professional development with a slate of offering that teachers self-select. This year (yesterday)there were several focusing on self-care. I ended my day in a mindfulness session in which we partnered with someone we did not know well. Our task was for one to speak for several minutes on what they are grateful for and the other to listen silently-observing how we respond to their sharing. Many found it difficult not to respond with our “active listening” strategies, but to remain a silent observer. Our facilitator shared the acronym that has helped her be a more mindful listener-WAIT. She reminded us that responding has its place as long as we are aware of why we are talking. Are we truly receiving or making it about us?

Delicious food for thought!

 

last dance

 

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makes

a poor

dance partner

for

trees.

 

 

 

#micropoetry    #SOL18

Maine endured a terrific wind storm last fall that left many without power for days on end. We could hear the wind through the forest and the crashing of timber. It wasn’t until this winter, when I could strap on snowshoes and scale the mounds of snow deep into the woods,  that I witnessed evidence of that destructive dance.

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