River Has Her Pathways

River has her many pathways.

Dear Shining Girl,

You stand poised in the limbo of doorway, and the light nearly shines through you, prisming the water in your eyes.

The hallways have emptied, but for that cluster of your friends who can’t quite say goodbye.

And you, like a forest doe, still pause on the threshold, ready to bolt at hint of danger.

It has been a season of words, and I the purveyor, the pusher, the cataloguer, the demagogue of vocabulary.

But I have no words for this transparent glimmer of invisibility you wear, for the way this grief has caught you by the shoulders, the way your words suddenly lock themselves into that golden cage of your throat.

Your giddy group of comrades bounces down the hallway and you take a step out of the shadows. Their joy is a distorted mirror of your misery.

When you go from this woodland of words and the solace of chums, who will See you? Who will know who you are?

Take heart, Shining Girl. Let those words that have caught in your chest like a trapped bird beating against the windowpane–let them fill the hollow spaces until there is no more space to fill, and then they will burst forth, radiant as your name.

I will be listening for that moment.

The last day of school is so exciting for so many of us. For some, however, it is a return to uncomfortable places, long stretches of loneliness, days of not being Seen. I need to remember that not everyone is experiencing this riot of joy.

Gratitude List:
1. Dedication for the seniors this evening. Glorious group of young people, about to be unleashed upon the world. They’re a force to be reckoned with.
2. Last day. It’s a big relief for me.
3. Icarus oriole still sings from his treetops, often enough that in my short forays into the pollen-infested world, I can hear him sing.
4. Empanadas–somebody’s mother left us empanadas in the Faculty Lounge. Oy. My.
5. Lunch was Vietnamese food provided by our wonderful principals. Delicious, and a great chance to connect with colleagues before separating for the summer.

May we walk in Beauty!

Eight Candles

Gratitude List:
1. People who cry when they read the sad parts in books. I am thinking of a particular student wiping her eyes as she finished the last pages of her most recent book.
2. Cherry blossoms
3. The tight fists of buds in the Flinchbaugh orchards. Some tiny blooms, too.
4. This parenting gig. Birthdays remind me how precious it all is, and how fleeting.
5. People are still talking about the Senior Presentations. During Tuesday’s final group, the rooms were packed, the energy was high, and the support was evident. People were pronouncing blessings on their fledglings. I love to hear students speak of how much they appreciate their teachers–it gives me a new and deeper appreciation (already deep) for my colleagues.

May we walk in Beauty. May we shower each other with Blessings.

Glorious List


Gratitude List:
(Sometimes I accidentally type Gratitude Lost.  This morning, before I had engaged my brain, I started typing Glorious List.  Perhaps I should have let that stand.)
1. Beginning the process of blessing and launching these young people into the world in their evenings of Senior Presentations.  It’s a high expectation we place upon them, to call them World-Changers.  They are each, in their own ways, prepared to make the world a better place with the gifts and skills and compassion that they have been nurturing in their time at our school.  I am so proud of them.  Monday will be my last evening of blessing the last half of my crew.
2. A single crow rowing her way across an overcast sky.
3. The ducks are wandering all over the school these days, searching for nesting sites.  They quack outside my window.  I actually like when the natural world distracts us from the scholarly task at hand.  It’s a reminder that this work is only part of what they are to learn.  I should run out to the shop before I go to school and see if I can find that old plywood nesting box from the chicken coop to put outside my window.
4. Kyla has been approved for a heart transplant.  Now begins a new kind of waiting, but meanwhile, knowing that there is a team ready to work with her, a great weight is lifted. The cycles of life and death are so intimately woven together.
5. Rooms and fields where we all can find a home.  I don’t know how to say it less cryptically at this moment, but it is a profoundly important part of my gratitude list today.

May we walk in Beauty!