A Long Weekend

stones-or-eggs Eggs or stones?

Gratitude List:
1. Hooray! Pippi Prius can be fixed. It took a while to get the details worked out with the insurance company, and the damage was apparently almost equal to her value, but they’ve agreed to go ahead and do it.
2. My colleagues. Yesterday was an in-service day, and much as I always wish I could just have those days to decompress or catch up on work, I always come away feeling energized and inspired for the work ahead–also, grateful for the earnest, positive, playful energy of my colleagues.
3. Our school superintendent, Richard Thomas. Since he announced his coming retirement last winter, it’s been disconcerting to think of the future of the school without him. He has helped this school system to shape a vision of itself as a community, as a place where students and teachers and staff work to become our best selves, to create a place of shalom. Yesterday we had a chance to try to tell him a little bit about what he means to us.
4. The Search Committee, who had a huge task in a short time. They listened well, heard our concerns and our hopes for the future, and found someone who seems to have vision and determination and savvy enough to step into the superintendent’s role.  They have been careful to be confidential when confidentiality has been necessary, while staying as transparent as possible. Yesterday they carefully led us through their process of the past six months and shared the ways in which our new superintendent fits the values and ideals that we gave them.
5. Today. I can work all day to catch up. I didn’t get as much done last weekend as I wanted. I plan to go to school on Monday with no late grading hanging over my head.

Shalom.

Camel Coaxing

Stones
Establishing balance.

Gratitude List:

  1. There are people in Mongolia who have a cultural tradition of camel coaxing, a ceremony of singing and tender handling of a mother camel and an orphan, to get the mother to take on the orphan as her own.  That there are people who ritualize and pass on this sort of cultural knowledge from generation to generation–this fills me with great joy.
  2. The music concert at Wrightsville Elementary last night.  Those shiny, shiny kids.
  3. The giant pine tree that someone on the darkest stretch of Cool Creek Road has decorated with lights.
  4. Breathing prayers.  Breathe in gratitude.  Breathe out love.  Breathe in gratitude.  Breathe out peace.
  5. Voices that call for reconciliation and dialogue and peace amidst the clamor.  This morning I am grateful for the voice and vision and courageous leadership of Loren Swartzentruber, the president of Eastern Mennonite University (another southern Christian College), calling for dialogue and sensitivity and action that leads toward greater understanding between people.

As salamu alaykum.  Shalom.  May we walk in Peace.