Simply Sunday

Seamless

Those clouds
Perfection
I rarely use
That word
Perfection
But following
Several days
Covered in
A dome of
Grey clouds
Torrential
Rainfall and
Gusty winds
Perfection
Is the only
Fitting word
Stepping
Outside
To that first
Clear blue sky
Spotted with
Toy Story clouds
Framed with
Bright green trees-
My spirit lifted
With one
Seamless
Deep breath…
Perfection

Happy Mother’s Day! Thankful for the time spent with my three grown children this weekend! ❤️

Connecting the Dots

What if
I created
A map
Dotted with
Colorful pins
And string
Wrapped
Around
Each pin
Connecting
The dots one
To another
And each color
Holding an
Individual
Meaning
Blue? Content
Orange? Unsure
Green? Happy
Gray? Sad
Except that
Those pins
Would not
Mark places
I’ve traveled
Though many
Were beautiful
Memorable
No, this map
Would be
An outline
Of my heart
Veins
Arteris
Valves
Dotted by
The breath
Of hearts
Intersecting
Each change
Of direction

One Plus One

Twenty to one. Twenty-five to one. Thirty to one. No, not betting odds, teacher-student ratios. What happens when that one is changed to a two?

First-grade music class had a visitor today. My teacher friend, Mrs. Eakes. Angela, a former classroom teacher, is now an EL coach, passionate about all-things literacy and education.

Angela recently shared some articles with me about the benefit of echo songs. Particularly in helping students strengthen literacy skills. Echo is a big part of teaching music, and I was excited to incorporate the specific songs shared in the articles.

My kindergarten, first grade, and second grade classes have been singing the songs over the past few weeks. Some with motions, all a little silly. All a lot of fun! Most of the time…

Confession…even with our current curriculum and these engaging songs, sometimes I struggle.

It is challenging to simultaneously stay calm, focused, and energized. Keeping students engaged while also settling disagreements or drying tears. I know I’m not the only teacher who sometimes feels this way…outnumbered.

When Mrs. Eakes joined our class, the difference was immediate. Not only for me but also for the students. Yes, one plus one equals two. But in music class, today, one plus one equaled ten!

Teacher Appreciation Week

Holders of the Future

Schools are failing
Some would like
You to believe
Wisdom says
Otherwise
One only
Needs
To look
To listen
Hundreds of lives
Working together
In community
Not simply teachers
Teaching students
But people, both
Young and old
Connecting on
Common ground
One that seeks
To meet needs
Heal wounds
Tell stories
Solve problems-
So, what are schools?
They are not failures
But holders of the future-
Take a minute
To stop
To look
To listen
Not at the ones
Talking about
Schools
But the ones
Walking inside
Every
Single
Day

As a teacher, listening to political rhetoric can quickly become discouraging. Especially when I truly stop and think about all of the stories. And I am only one of many. So, I only hear some of the many.

I watch as students take home extra food. Listen as concerns are shared among staff. Notice when students receive much-needed services. And this is in addition to the love and care received from their teachers.

Each day there are tears of joy and sadness, screams of excitement and frustration. But isn’t that life? Don’t miss the bigger picture because of the voices attempting to drown it out.

The second poem was written for a recent school volunteer celebration. But it seemed fitting for my teacher friends as well. ❤️

Ready to Bloom

Imagine the
Blooming daffodil
Magically captured
In time-lapse
Photography
Instant joy in
Sunshine yellow
If only you could see
The results
Of your work
In this manner-
Nurturing hands
Thoughtful words
Freely planting
Seeds of confidence
Gently watering
Pulling weeds
Re-planting when
Necessary
Always shining
Your light…
So much light
Tending to
Each new stem
Each new bud
Each precious child
With love and patience
As they emerge
At their own pace
Right alongside you
Ready to bloom

Take a Step

You haven’t been
Very happy
Lately

Humph!
I thought
Incensed

But I know it’s true
And those words?
Spoken in love
So, why is it
Still so hard
To admit?
As if speaking
The words
Out loud
Gives them power
When actually
The opposite is true

You’re right
I’m depressed
Not simply
End-of-school
Exhausted
Though also true

Today’s remedies?
Sunshine
Fresh air
Newly planted
Flowers
Only enough
Planning to
Ease some stress
For the coming week
Small steps
Moving me
Forward
Gentle reminding
Only I can take
Those steps
But I don’t
Need to
Take them
Alone…and
Neither do you

Reset Button

Is your phone not working correctly? Have you tried turning it off and then back on? Have problems with your computer? Same answer. At least, that is the answer if you ask my husband. And quite often, it takes care of the problem.

I’m starting to realize my brain works similarly. The only problem? My resets are not always intentional. It’s more of a hindsight experience.

Let me explain. My brain has been on overload for the past couple of weeks. Too many thoughts, dates, responsibilities, concerns, worries, etc. You get the picture. Partly because it is the end of the school year. The other part, well, that is for another day.

Gart and I drove to Arkansas last weekend to visit my parents. We took a personal day on Monday. On our drive home, I received a phone call asking me to play for a choir rehearsal Wednesday evening.

Yes! Sounds great! I’ll do it!

Of course, my answer came on a day I was not working. One day I was not thinking about all those upcoming events. Not thinking about how tired I would be after teaching all day Wednesday…

Wednesday arrived. I needed a nap between work and the rehearsal.

The music that I had little time to practice before rehearsal was by Mozart. Now, I have some pretty mean sight-reading skills. Legendary in some places. 😉 But an hour and a half of sight-reading Mozart? Well, there was no room for any other thoughts in my brain.

After rehearsal, I somehow drove myself home, made a cup of tea, and crawled into bed. When I woke up the next day, my body was tired. My brain, however, was calm.

Laughing to myself, I realized playing all that music was like hitting a reset button. Perhaps I should add sight-reading to my weekly routine. Do you think it would ensure a correctly working brain? Worth a try!

As We Should

Tightly held
Protected
Until time for
The unfurling of
Curved edges
Soft and smooth
Pattern of veins
Barely visible
Vibrant color
Most notable
New and fresh
Like the soft
Smooth skin
Of a newborn
Not yet marked
By time or
Weather
Though change
Begins immediately
Tossed by winds
Dampened by rain
Warmed by the sun
The steps
Incremental
Texture and color
Slowly transforming
The lovely oak leaf
Light to dark
Greens, then
Red or yellow
Finally brown
Each stage
Its own beauty
And purpose
Aging, as it should
As we should
Growing
Changing
Transformed

Simply Sunday

Soft Blanket

Surrounded
By more shades
Of green than
My mind could
Possibly imagine
Attempts to match
Each shade with
A colorful
Adjective
Fall short
Given up trying
Instead, noticing
The curious way
The greens
Compliment
And contrast
One another
Their beauty
Shining against
The backdrop
Of a blue sky
Dotted with
Fluffy, white clouds-
Driving down
The highway
Wrapped
In the soft
Blanket
Of Spring

Gart and I drove to Little Rock yesterday. We are spending the weekend with my mom and dad. Such a beautiful drive this time of year. So many trees budding and wildflowers blooming along the highway.

I had the opportunity to play piano at their church this morning. Not just a solo but also a special duet with my cousin’s grandson. What a treat!

That soft blanket of spring expanded to include family and music. Long hugs, I miss you’s, and sweet melodies. ❤️

Poetry Circle Poems

She Said It

I know she said it
Without a doubt
Though I can’t
Pinpoint one
Specific instance

Wonder if that’s ‘cause I heard it so often?

I say it often enough
To my students
Said it to my kids
When they were little
Anyone feeling
A bit grumpy
Acting a bit
Out of sorts

Do you know what my grandma always said?
You can get glad in the same pants you got mad in.

Boy, do I wish
I could hear
Her say it
One more time
Pretty sure I need
To hear it
Or, at least, I needed
To hear it
Yesterday

Recipe for Success

Yes! You, too,
Can be successful
In just four easy steps

Study hard
Work hard
Work harder
Retire and travel

Is that really the recipe?
Seems a bit bland
If you ask me

True success
Is experienced only
In the minuscule

A tear lovingly wiped away
A raised eyebrow understood only by the one you love
The sweet laugh of a child
The final breath of a friend

And those are just
The starting points
Not four sentences
In a paragraph
But chapters
In the narrative of your life

I continue to enjoy the poetry circle process with Ali Grimshaw https://flashlightbatteries.blog/. Such lovely connections, as well as surprises. I never know what will show up on the page. Or how the words of another will touch my heart.