December Heart

As the year winds down, I am trying to take this time to reflect. Too many times in school and in life, I don’t make or leave enough space to ponder. And yet, I think I know how important it is to ruminate and think. I do like my alone time and feel stressed and harried when I do not have this time.

Another year has passed. It does seem as I get older, time passes ever faster. It could just be as my life gets more complicated and filled up with details, obligations, and desires, there is less time available at all.These distractions can grow to fill any and all available time slots. Imagine being bored with nothing to do at all? I want to better prioritize my time. I need to make concrete plans to enhance my inner life. Hint: read, write, blog more for myself, not just for the job.

I do feel a bit of nostalgia for this past year. Not that it was perfect at all, but all of the past somehow seems relevant. My future is built on that past, but controlling too much of this present does not seem to be working. I can’t control everything?? Instead let me focus on the hope for 2017. Maybe it’s the catholic upbringing, but I still do believe in the good classic virtues: hard work, honesty, kindness and hope. I believe in these virtues in myself, my students, my family, my neighbors, my country and the world. It’s not that I don’t believe everything bad happening out there, but I do believe good conquers evil.

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Shadows

At this time of year it is still dark when I come to school in the morning. I hate that. I come from a family of early risers –  we all say it was from my Dad because he was a milk-man delivering milk early in the morning! Anyway,  I like to come to school early when there are less interruptions.  So this morning as I walked up to the school building there were dark shadows made by the bushes and mounds of snow. Then the wind started to blow and real bizarre shapes appeared. Oh, my imagination can run on high. Suddenly the angles looked like the ears of beasts. The illumination shining from the street lights twinkled on the snow and metal play equipment like the eyes of beasts. I suddenly remembered the scenes from The BFG showing the friendly giant hiding so completely in the dark areas of the streets.My winter boots crunched loudly over the frozen tracks left on the path. Surely these annoying screeches would scare any creatures away. These patches of frozen icicles made the trek slower than normal. More time for the imagination to work. Finally, I made it to the warmth and safety of the foyer where my key slid smoothly into the lock and as I pulled the door open my breath slowed and normalcy returned. Well as normal as school can get a few days before Christmas vacation begins.

Snow!?

The first appreciable snow has arrived, along with mixed reactions. Of course, it looks beautiful – so clean, so white, so soft and so quiet! As the snow fell all morning, it was like sitting inside a snow globe after it was shaken up. White feathers floated down from heaven suggesting angels having a fun day too! Is that why it is so much fun to make snow angels in the snow? This light, fluffy snow enveloped and hugged different shapes in the landscape. Strange white blobs showed up everywhere – Is that blob the flower pot I forgot to bring in?

Just like there is two sides of coin, there is usually another reaction to snow. Ugh!! The snow all has to be moved out of the way. Even when it is light, fluffy snow, it piles up quickly. Where ever we have to walk there is packed snow and slippery surfaces. Appropriate clothing is definitely needed now. There will be no more quickly running out the door without shoes and jackets. Now the cars need to be warmed up, scraped clean and kept full of gas. Weather forecasts need to be studied before any adventure out. Thermometers should be checked too.

All of this, both the positive and the negative, is a reminder to respect Mother Nature.