So simple So completely Disarming We celebrate Its appearance On babies faces Then proceed Doing everything Possible to Encourage Its return- A sweet smile Lighting up Faces Lighting up Rooms Lighting up Hearts When noticed By a friend Mine somehow Grows wider Reaches deeper Prompting Inward Reflection Inspiring Outward Awareness- Are the faces Drifting by Genuinely Beaming? Or are they Searching For a reason To smile?
Laundry The night Before Means Packing The night Before Means Bedtime later Than normal Restless sleep Like a child Waiting for Tomorrow To arrive Except No longer A child And though My heart Will be ready My body Will be tired Counting on A little caffeine A little music A little conversation To carry me safely Down the road From home To home And back again…
As I head to Arkansas to spend a week with my parents, I am thankful.
Thankful for my husband who says-Go! This is most important.
Thankful for my adult children who say-We understand! We will see you there!
And for extended family and friends who say-We will miss you! See you another time. Safe travels!
The ground weeps This morning Unable To hold back The tears Soaked into Its roots From those Crying above Hearts Once light Now heavy With worries Witnesses to Devastation Prevailing wind Moves across The land Initially Unsuccessful In drying Their tears And yet, not Deterred I feel it Right now Gently caressing My face As it whispers Let your tears Mingle with The suffering Watering Seeds of hope Waiting For Silent Night
Several First-grade students: Mrs. Morris! I am signing up for your piano class!
A Fifth-grade student: Mrs. Morris…why is it only for first and second graders?
I am excited to offer a piano club for the first time! It will be for First and Second graders. Looking into offering a second class. Shhhhh…
A group of teachers and school staff members at Target:
It is Angel Tree time at our school. Teachers and staff work diligently to make sure our students have what they need along with something they want. This year, a local corporation sponsored some of our angels. All they needed were shoppers.
What are you looking for? Here are some cool Legos! Oh, and these shoes are cute! What do you think about this hoodie?
Passing each other in the store, all smiling as we searched for just the right gifts. The same as in the halls each day at school. Sometimes with tears instead of smiles, always with concern for our students.
The music classroom.
Me: Today is our student teacher, Mr. Malone’s last day with us. We need to say thank you and goodbye.
Student One: Why can’t he be our teacher? Are you ready to retire?
Student Two: Wait, is he a student? But he is a grownup!
Student Three: (Eyes welling up with tears.) I am going to miss him. (Crying along with a goodbye hug.)
The community kitchen-bustling with holiday cheer.
Friday morning, teachers and staff were treated to a pancake breakfast! The counter was lined with bowls of strawberries, bananas, chocolate chips. Complete with peanut butter, syrup, and whipped cream. The jolly cooks were none other than our administrators!
I have not spent enough time at my piano in recent weeks. So this week, I decided to remedy that. With it being Christmas time, what to play was an easy choice.
As I played through several old Christmas hymns, the word balance kept coming to mind. No matter the context, there are always notes, voices, instruments, rhythms that need to be heard above the rest. And quite often, that spotlight is shared, giving others a chance to be heard.
Even though one voice might not be the momentary focus, it remains essential to the music. Where would that melody be without harmony? Or that jazz riff without the brushes of the drum floating behind it?
When I sat down to play this morning, I began by playing the hymns as written. Though tempting, I did not add any embellishments. My goal was to play so that the melody rang out clearly, while the harmony provided support.
After reading the music as written, I went back and added new rhythms, patterns, harmonies while keeping the melody clear. Both versions required the same thing-balance.
I have said this before, but the only time my brain is calm is while I am playing the piano. Somehow, it provides an inner balance. There is that word again. Outside voices are quieted. Worries of the day temporarily disappear.
Music reminds me that I do not need to raise my voice above the crowds. Although I may have something important to say, unless it is balanced with love for those in hearing range, I should probably remain part of the harmony.
Harmony-that is my prayer for this Christmas. For there to be less shouting and more listening. That we may experience joy amid our sadness. And hope that outweighs our fears. Merry Christmas!
Please enjoy a few Christmas carols! ❤ Kelley Morris, piano
Snow is not a common occurrence in Oklahoma. The expectation brings a collective holding of breath. Adults become like little children, waking up all hours of the night to see if the snow is falling.
Today is one of those uncommon days. I was awake several times during the night. At first, all was still and quiet. Doubts began to creep in…the forecast was probably wrong anyway. And then I heard something hitting the roof.
A quick look outside brought disappointment…only rain. According to the forecast, it should be changing to snow in another hour or so. I would hold my breath a little longer.
Finally, the transformation from rain to heavy snow began! It didn’t take long for the grass to turn completely white. Snow-tipped evergreens now graced the backyard. And the snowfall looked like it would last forever.
What is it about snow? It has the power to transform the faded colors of winter into a magical wonderland. Snow makes me feel like a child again-at least in my heart. But most of all, it is a reminder that when all feels bleak, the uncommon gives hope.
Moonlight shines on Snow-covered grass Afternoon clouds Long dissolved Giving stars their Chance to shine Pulsing through The darkness Feathered birds- Cheerful melodies Now quieted- Nestle peacefully Inside their nests While the fox Ventures out to Gather food for pups Sleeping in the den I am tired, but The moon shines Snow is calling- Do I snuggle in Like the birds Or venture out Like the fox? Wisdom says Sleep can wait Give witness to The transformation
Today is Christmas Eve, 2019. That does not sound possible. As a child growing up in the 1970s, the year 2020 was hard to fathom. And yet, here we are.
This time of the year causes me to reflect. I remember Christmas Eve parties at my Grandma and Grandpa Mahar’s house. Surrounded by aunts, uncles, and cousins. Sharing our favorite snacks and sweet treats. Drinking lime sherbet and ginger ale punch. Those were beautifully simple times.
Added to those memories are the ones of my own children growing up. Christmas programs, music, opening presents, traveling to visit grandparents. Now they are grown. I wonder what parts they will remember in twenty years.
This year, we are hosting Gart’s side of the family on Christmas Day. They will gather in our home tomorrow. We have some new faces in our family. More people to love, to help heal the holes left by those we miss.
Although my Christmas reflections are predominantly happy, I recognize that is not the case for everyone. Many have faced unspeakable tragedies. Ones that do not simply vanish with time.
I want those friends to know it is ok to be sad, even amid celebrations. I should not expect them to just put on a happy face. And I hope they are not afraid to share their grief.
A friend recently shared the following verse with me.
“You have taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not recorded in Your book?” Psalm 56:8
The image of God collecting my tears in a bottle was powerful and comforting. On this Christmas Eve, I pray that thought brings you comfort and joy.
I also want to share some of my favorite carols. These are my own simple arrangements. Hope you enjoy! Merry Christmas! 🙂
Yes the winter was bitter and long So the spring'll be sweet Come along with a rhythm and a song Watch creation repeat
I know winter is just beginning but the hope of spring is ever present. Trees will once again bud and flowers will once again bloom. We must look for it in the moments of sunshine and patches of blue. Or in store-bought flowers placed in a favorite vase.