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. ❤


MRI Day

We have days dedicated to celebrating almost everything.  Days for donuts, coffee, moms, dads, cats, and dogs-and the list goes on and on.  Today was MRI day.  At least, that is what I decided to proclaim.  Especially now that my doctor insists I have one in addition to my mammogram every year. 

They are not particularly fun.  Imagine lying face down on a narrow table.  White towels lining the hole where your face rests.  Your arms straight out in front-think Superman pose.  No, wait-Wonder Woman. 😉

Once in position, you must be perfectly still for thirty minutes.  Perfectly still while the tube you are in makes random, intermittent noises, as if preparing for take-off.  Actually, it is just a really loud camera.

I know this probably does not sound like something to celebrate.  But this year, I choose to view it differently.  I am celebrating deep breaths that helped me to relax.  I am celebrating old hymns and classic James Taylor singing inside my head. I am celebrating medical science that says early detection is key.

Even though physically uncomfortable, the above reasons eased my anxiety. And I was reminded that I can do hard things. So, get your mammograms! And if your doctor says the word MRI, you can do it! Until next year! 💕

Cleansing Rain

Cold and heavy
The rain falls
No end in sight
A constant hum
Forcing quiet
Contemplation
The sound of
Troubles being
Washed away
Cleansing the
Cluttered
Landscape
Revealing
The true nature
Of our hearts
Reminding us
Even though
Living under
The same sky
Standing on the
Same earth, our
Needs vary from
Place to place
From one day
To the next
Whether this
Day found you
Weary
Parched
Hollow
May it leave you
Refreshed
Quenched
Overflowing

Teacher Heart

Confession time. This teacher’s heart, mind, and body are struggling. Each day brings physical and emotional exhaustion. This is not about complaining or seeking validation. I am acknowledging that we are in a difficult season.

Life is full of difficult seasons. This is not the first and will most certainly not be the last. Such is the world in which we live. It is just that I am having a difficult time dealing with this one.

One day can feel like a rollercoaster. One hour, I have a great class, kids engaged, lightbulbs going off. The next, I allow something small to wash away the positive. A problem with technology (shh…do not tell my husband.) 😉 My attitude, maybe a student’s attitude-it doesn’t matter which. I’m suddenly trying not to cry, counting the minutes until I can hide in the bathroom between classes and regain my composure.

My thoughts quickly move towards an “I don’t think I can do this” attitude. And every time this happens, encouragement follows.

An encouraging word from my husband. “You are stronger than you think you are.”

An encouraging comment from a colleague. “You inspire me.”

An encouraging email from another colleague. “M and T told me all about strong and weak beats…that music lesson stuck with them!”

All I see is that one word…encouraging. And these are only a few examples from the last several days. The individuals who shared their thoughts may not have realized the power held in their words, but I felt it in my teacher-heart. Their messages brought smiles to brighten my day and tears to wash away my doubts…renewal.

Renewal…the next focus word. Something we all must learn to practice. I am practicing it right now. Today, it looks like taking a personal day and a long drive. A time away, visiting my own parents. A time to rest and be loved as a daughter.

Other days, the renewal will look different. An evening walk with my husband. Taking time to play the piano. Talking to a friend. Writing, painting, something creative to ease my anxious mind. All things to help renew my heart, soul, and body so I can continue doing what I’m called to do for however long I’m called. ❤

Running Late

This morning I left for work about 10-15 minutes later than usual. Not terribly late, just enough to take away that buffer between arrival and car duty.

As I merged onto the highway, I began to notice pinks and reds on the horizon. The colors created a glowing outline behind the clouds. As my car crossed the bridge over the Arkansas River, a big, beautiful sun appeared. Those pinks and reds were now perfectly blended into one giant sphere.

If I had left at my usual time, I most likely would have missed this view!

The experience made me think about how tiny moments can generate enormous power.

This first week back to school has been challenging. Teaching during a pandemic brings more questions than answers-more uncertainties than assurances. Yesterday, I allowed an onslaught of negative thoughts to weigh me down, unable to focus on anything positive.

Witnessing that stunning sunrise was the first step toward a much-needed attitude adjustment. And if my attitude today reflected even one tiny pink drop of those rays, just maybe I was able to encourage someone else.

I guess when you look at it that way; I really was not running late after all. I was actually right on time.