Allergy Haze

I am a little obsessed with capturing the magic of this portal pathway. This filter begins to approach it for me.

In a few extra minutes in class yesterday, I had my English 101 kids choose a character from the Odyssey. Here’s mine. I chose Polyphemus, the cyclops. It’s not a perfected and revised poem, just a toss-off.

I see it now, too late,
what Nohbdy could see before me,
how we fell into our fate
like pawns of the gods
tossed upon the sea.

Oh, now I see, too late,
blinded as I walked into the trap:
how Fortune threw me from my state
low down and tricked
by that cunning chap.

But though I saw too late,
I found the words to curse
that scheming wily pirate.
My fate was terrible, but in the end
his was worse.

Gratitude List:
1. Hot tea
2. The geese and their four babies have apparently returned to the creek and pond area. Jon and Joss saw them walking across the road this afternoon.
3. This one might come off as a complaint, but I don’t mean it that way: The allergy crisis didn’t happen until school was over. Hopefully tea and tonic and air conditioning will help.
4. Summer’s coming. (“Sumer is i-cumen in”–need some madrigal action)
5. Always, the web which connects us all

May we walk in Beauty!


Today was a hard day. No one was able to adjust well to the heat in Room 206. We just lived through it. The allergy sufferers (including myself) are all in a bit of a pollen haze. But mostly we were in shock today. We heard early in the day that one of our buses had been in a bad accident, and we didn’t know for quite some time how our friends were doing. Kids were extra tender with each other today, quiet and thoughtful, concerned. Anxiety, heat, and sniffling made it a difficult teaching day.

I am left with layers and layers of weariness. Still, in the middle of it all, in the heat that has continued after the sun went down, there are things to be grateful for.

Gratitude List:
1. The way people focus on the important things during a time of crisis. The self-absorption of the daily disappears, and everyone focuses their hearts on the hurting.
2. Most of the students appear to have escaped the bus accident with minor injuries. I suppose one can always say, “It could have been much worse.” Still, it could have, and I am grateful for the grace of so many at home tonight with their parents. We continue to pray for the two who remain in the hospital.
3. Refried beans. That’s true comfort food.
4. Citrus. It’s therapy for an allergy sufferer.
5. Hummingbird! During supper this evening, she came twice to hover outside the big dining room window and look in at us. She has done this for the past several years in her first days back to the hollow. I like to think that she is checking in on us, announcing her return. The first time I was aware of how she (or her mother and grandmothers) seems to look in the windows was the spring eleven years ago when I was nursing a tiny new baby, and a tiny hummingbird repeatedly hovered just outside the window. Perhaps she was seeing her own reflection, but it has always seemed like a greeting.

May we walk in Beauty, in Wonder.

Hazy Days


(This was last year’s photo)

It has been a few days since I have tallied gratitudes or written a poem.  Between the mounds of end-of-semester work and the needs of the kids and the haze of allergy season under a tulip tree, I haven’t been keeping the open awareness and daylong focus that is usually necessary for me to prepare a meaningful list for myself.  Some days I can toss off a list off the top of my head, but part of the purpose of writing these lists is that it puts me in the noticing space throughout my day.  Here are some of the things that have been in noticing-space the last few days:

Gratitude List:
1. Peonies.  How old are they?  Forty years?  Sixty?  These come from Jon’s mom, who got them from his grandmother.  They have the most perfect scent (and smelling anything these days is a real challenge for me)–why isn’t there peony perfume?
2. The seniors.  I have fewer of them in my classes, but somehow I’ve gotten sort of attached, and now they go, and I am going to miss them, but I am so proud of them, so eager to watch them try their wings.  Fly high, Bright Ones.
3. Summer is coming.  Long break with a change of pace, a chance to prepare for the next season, to get life in order again.
4. Ingenuity.  We have fewer chances today, perhaps, when we have already invented so many things to do everything we need.  Still, there are opportunities to make and design, chances for the children to learn to invent and create and develop tools and ideas.
5. Flavor.

May we walk in Beauty!