Being a professional educator has always
given me the advantage
of being reflective as the years pass by (too quickly). It is possible,
but incredibly difficult
to spend the majority of your days
with children and not constantly be
in ways that consider the past,
embrace the present,
and look toward the future.
The tiny humans demand that I bring my best self
to the meeting areas
and u-shaped tables
where so much magic happens.
I don’t get up from the floor
in one quick movement
the way I used to. The little people I lean in to
confer with often mark the years with their words:
“You are getting more white hairs, Ms. J.”
If I’d stayed put in the place where I began,
would be as close
as all their lives are to my heart.
Am I old?
I don’t (really) think so.
I’m in better shape than I have been
thanks to the gift of ‘livabetes’.
My mind is
My heart is full of joy beyond words
and that peace that passes all
It is well with my soul.
And. . .
I am half the age my grandmother was upon
My time here is not up.
But time is not feeling
every moment count?
in a way
that the only words I’ll be desperate to utter when the time for
are something like,
“I love you,”
“I’m so glad I was here!”?
I’ve tried, dear ones. I’ve tried.
Every choice I’ve made doesn’t seem
like the best one
to the people I love.
But everything I’ve done was right
Perhaps only in the moment.
If I have no other stance toward life,
I am a learner.
I am grateful to the Universe
and everything that inhabits it
for being a teacher.
For teaching me.
“There are years that ask questions
and years that answer,”
wrote dear Zora.
The years that do both are harrowing.
Chaos brings out the best
and the worst
A pandemic. A cross-country move.
A new job. A place to call home.
An abundance. Loss after loss.
The sting of racism.
Again and again and again.
A new job. Again.
I’ve had years like this before.
something was different.
I was different.
The past made the present easier to see
This too shall pass.
I have a
I have a knowing.
I know how to heal.
On land I’ve never traversed.
With my heart wide open.
for it all, but especially the abundance
that allows me to travel
from wells of pain to those of hope
and back again –
ready to be present
now and in the future.