Surrounding Skies

Heaviness
Lingers
In the quiet
Struggles
Of others
On this cold
Fall morning
Though
Not mine
Fragments
Of their pain
Filter thru
My thoughts
The sky
Is clear
And blue
From my
Vantage
While clouds
Of grief and
Sadness fill
Surrounding
Skies
Needing
To release
Waiting for
Assurance
That it is ok
For the rain
To fall
Even on
The clearest
Of days

Carry Hope

Do you ever feel
Restless
Lose track of time
Or maybe your
Car keys

Focus blurry
From
Tired body
Tired mind
Too much time
Thinking about
Life’s worries…
Place your hands
Over your eyes
As a shield
But remember to
Spread your fingers
Wide enough for
Tiny particles
Of sun dust
To filter thru
The open spaces
And carry hope
Into your heart

This past weekend, a song I had not heard in a long time came to mind. One of those you are not alone kinds of songs. I don’t know about you, but I needed to hear these words, soak them in and then send them back out. Have a listen.

https://youtu.be/61Wm_qlVD4Q Brother by Need to Breathe

Leg Lifts

I am in the middle of a six-week physical therapy program for my back. It is both necessary and helpful. And it is also kicking my butt while reminding me of my age. My actual age, not the one I imagine.

You are as young as you feel. A common phrase. The truth is our bodies eventually wear out. We can eat right and exercise. Buy products advertising prolonged youth. All the while knowing it is impossible to reverse time.

Instead of fighting to stay young, I’d like to work at aging gracefully. But when my hip begins to cramp in the middle of leg lifts, two sets of fifteen-well, graceful is not the word I would choose.

Powering through those leg lifts did provide a feeling of accomplishment. Accomplished…maybe I need to combine goals. Strive to be gracefully accomplished. I think that sounds better. Even if it means continuing those leg lifts until the cramps in my hip are no more. 😉

Are They Listening?

Most teachers have moments of wondering-are they hearing anything I’m saying? Sometimes it is difficult to know. I want to believe our students remember more than we think they do. Especially the things that are most important.

My attitude has not been great this week. Several reasons that really don’t matter. But I could have easily been described as tired, grumpy, and irritable on several occasions. Today there were a couple of sparks that helped change all of that.

First, if you’ve never heard First or Second graders sing, it is precious. Their voices are pure and sweet. Today, they were learning about how music notes are placed on lines. And how they could learn to read those notes. Specifically, sol and mi.

Each song we learned was a different combination of those two tones. In one of the activities, I would sing a pattern, they would echo. The fun came when we sang along with an accompaniment.

They sounded so sweet! I was trying to express how happy it made me hearing them sing. One little First-grader raised their hand.  

Mrs. Morris, are we filling your bucket?

I smiled. Yes! You are filling my bucket!

Our teacher says we filled hers, too.

I recorded their song and let them listen. There were giggles and smiles. Then I emailed the recording to their teacher. I also relayed their bucket comments so she would know they had been listening after all.

First Grade Music Class ❤️

Ripples in the Water

Each encounter
Holds potential
For change
If only
I look past
Myself
Not get lost
In the currents
And instead,
Gently drift
Mingling with
Other hearts
Passing by
Keeping
Each other
Afloat until
We reach
The shore
Resting
Until ready
To jump
Back in
Experiencing
Each encounter
Creating change

Be the Flashlight

Photo by Artem Podrez on Pexels.com

Left out
All alone
Crawling
Inside
A shell
To hide-
Excuses
Abound when
It happens
None
Of which
Makes up
For the feelings
Being left out
Leaves behind
One tiny
Flashlight
Has the power
To pierce
The darkness
Of loneliness
Calling the one
Once left out
Into the light
Ready to stand
Ready to shine

Kind Words

Colleague: We almost had a fight in the library over who would be the first to check out your book. Not really, but some of the kids were excited. I am glad they have this connection with you and poetry.

Student: Mrs. Morris, I was the first to check out your book from the library!

Student: My mom has the book you wrote at our house.

Colleague: I’ve been reading your book. I’m really enjoying it and learning a lot about you.

These may sound like simple comments. But each of them lifted my spirits more than they could possibly know. And they could not have come at a more needed time.

The start of school is always hard. Everyone is getting back into a routine. Takes a bit to adjust. And although classes are going well, I am feeling tired.

Grateful for the encouragement. And thankful for the reminder that kind words truly can make someone’s day. ❤️

Worth Carrying

Holding your little hand
As we walk
From outside
Thru the doors
Down the hall
To your classroom
Today
Unlike yesterday
I gained
Your trust
And trust
Is always
Worth carrying

Seeing your sweet smile
As you exit
Your car
Walking towards me
On the sidewalk
Stopping for a hug
And a quick
I’ll see you tomorrow
Today, I felt
Your joy
And joy
Is always
Worth carrying

Seeing tears
Fill your eyes
As we talk
In the hallway
At the end of
A difficult day
So many questions
So hard on yourself
Today, I offered
Encouragement
And encouragement
Is always
Worth carrying

As this day ends
I wonder
What will be
Worth carrying
Tomorrow?

Once again, I had the privilege of joining a poetry circle facilitated by Ali Grimshaw https://flashlightbatteries.blog/. It was the perfect end to a long day of teaching. To write, not worrying about what shows up on the page. To listen intently to others and be heard with the same intention. Time to be still and reflect. Not to mention, getting to know people from all over the world. What a joy! ❤️

Rockstars

Kindergarten teachers have my heart. Imagine spending your entire day with twenty-something little bodies. Helping them learn how to get along, be part of a group, understand expectations. It is not for the faint of heart.

This school year brings additional challenges. The many levels of stress due to the pandemic affects both students and teachers. Not to mention the trauma many of our students have faced and continue to face.

All that said, these teachers are still smiling at the end of most days. And still finding ways to encourage others. I would say, kindergarten teachers, are rockstars! ❤

Today’s Lesson

Carefully folded
Pieces of paper
Some covered
With drawings
Of hearts
Music notes
Happy faces
Sad faces
Neatly stacked
On my desk-
Drawn by hands
So small, hands
Still learning
How to write
How to get along-
Simple messages
Meant to cheer
While saying
I’m sorry
Signatures
So sweet…
A humbling
Experience
For this grown-up
Teacher who has
Hard days right
Along with the kids
As we navigate this big old world-
Our lesson for today?
We can make
Tomorrow
A better day-
Big or small
Young or old

Being Alive

Finding our way
Thru the maze 
Of today
Responsibilities
Routines
Each of us 
Carrying our own
Deep down insides-
What to reveal?
What to keep hidden?
Crossing the
Finish line
Feels like a win
Even if crawling-
Kind words 
Meet me on 
The other side
I’m so happy for you!
You are so…
Sounds fade as
Meaning reaches
Way-down deep
Drawing out
A bucket 
Full of tears
Unknowingly
Hidden in the well-
My heart sloshes
With the joy 
Of being alive


Once again, I am reminded of the importance of encouraging words.  I have been on the receiving end many times in recent days, and for that, I am thankful. 

One thought, in particular, stood out this week-celebrate yourself!  It made me think about how great it is to be alive.  And the importance of not taking our time for granted. ❤