I’m going to roll the last two essays of Dear Teachers into one reflection and close this first year’s journey off. It’s the end. Or, an end.
In Week 39, I wrote of the importance in seeing those tiny good things in life: life’s sweetnesses. Ends make them stand out more.
There has been a ton of vitriol on social media this week. Perhaps not new, but the education community has been sucked into this phenomenon as well. Earnest people have been burned. Stances have been challenged. Flames have been fanned. You know the whole routine. Between these behaviors and my own personal struggles, I’ve been in an odd place wondering about what we (I) are doing. Then, I had a short, but surprisingly deep conversation with a clerk at a store. It really moved me. I found myself genuinely thanking him and wishing him well as we finished our business. I honestly felt a tiny moment of sweetness there that captured that wholeness and togetherness of which I’ve spoken of throughout this book.
Week 40, the last essay: “Together, Face the Sky and Reach High”. Marlene captured the backside of a field of sunflowers under a majestically cloud-dotted sky. The sun is shining but the sky reminds us that storms can (and will) come both before and after. The sunflowers stand together and orient themselves together toward the light.
|Tiny sweetnesses pollinate us. Photo by Marlene Oswald|
We need to do that, too. I’m more convinced of that than ever.
As I re-read this essay today, remembering the time on the playground that I wrote of, I’m struck by the similar feelings I recall from that experience and the one I just had at the store. Inspiration does truly come anywhere and everywhere.
I bet your school year had some great sweetnesses. I bet it had times you want to turn your back on like the sunflowers. I hope this book helped you capture those things and comfortably sit with it all and that the experience that ends with this school year helps you move forward into new beginnings in the days, months and years ahead. I hope Marlene’s and my book, our book now if you’ve written in it, has helped you see the huge web of people you’re in- the huge flowerbed we’re all in- together. And, I hope, you see yourself and so many others, as the dear teachers you all are.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this book and any recommendations you might have! Comment below or you can reach out to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you, once again.