Friday, November 16, 2012

It's Also The Thing With Feathers

Today did not start out as an extraordinary day in my life. In fact, it seemed to be blessedly normal and routine.

I woke up fairly early, and was greeted by a foggy fall sky. I was rushing out the door to run a quick errand, but still I stopped in my tracks to snap a photo.

When I returned back home a half hour later, the fog was lifting, but this late-blooming rose in my front yard was still covered in crystal clear drops of water. 

Hungry and cold, I headed back into the house and directly to the kitchen, where I made myself one of my trending favorites for breakfast - a plate full of roast beef lettuce wraps.

With plate in hand, I marched myself right back upstairs to cuddle with Ranger who was waiting for me on my bed. Usually, he runs errands with me but this morning he decided to stay home and snooze on top of the warm covers while I went out. Smart dog. 

Within an hour, I was off again - this time, I was headed to school. The sky was clear and blue now, with interesting stripes of clouds and a few brilliant jet trails. I couldn't help but use every red light as an opportunity to try to capture some of its glory.

I taught two classes of algebra full of interested and enthusiastic students. They listened to my lectures,  worked some problems on the board to show me what they had learned, and earned some little chocolate bars in return for their hard work. Near the end of the first class, one of the students glanced out the window and called our attention to the reappearance of mysterious fog drifting through the woods outside our classroom. Several of us grabbed our phones to take pictures; I was surprised and delighted to find the reflection of the classroom overhead lights in my shot. Weird and cool.

After algebra, I met with my art students and we had a rambunctious 90 minutes of talking and making. Our classroom was a blur of happy noise and motion as we assembled the Thanksgiving books we've been making for the past few weeks.

After school, I ran another errand, this one to IKEA to search out some new comforter covers for one of the newly repainted rooms at my house.  As I drove, I rejoiced over how much I have accomplished in the past few weeks. I reflected on the fact that this project has been in my mind for several years, and honestly, as much as I hoped that one day I might accomplish it, there were many times when I doubted I would ever be able to start the project and see it through. 

As I was climbing out of my car at IKEA, I stopped to take a picture of a framed poster in my back seat. This artwork, a prized possession of my eldest, was to serve as inspiration for their newly refurbished room, so I wanted to have it for reference as I shopped for their bed linens. 

Now I should point out that my daughter has had this poster hanging in her room for years now, and I've seen it countless times. 

But as I snapped that photo, my day went to a whole new level. I saw with fresh eyes the giant word, framed in yellow and popping out of the center of the image. 


Yes. Hope. 

Hope is what gets me out of bed in the morning on a cool, misty day.
Hope is a tender white rose holding fast against autumn's chill.
Hope is food, filling me with strength and the will to keep going.
Hope is a loyal dog awaiting my return.
Hope is the energy I feel from a clear blue sky.
Hope is my students, who trust me to lead them to places their minds want to go.
Hope is the act of taking photographs, of attempting to capture the beauty of the world.
Hope is tackling a big project, having neither adequate experience or proper guidance but a blind trust that somehow it will all work out.

And today I was reminded that hope is an extraordinary promise and an important reminder to me that every day matters, even the most ordinary of days.

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Other stories of hope, offered from me to you:


  1. This is all wonderfully inspiring!!

    1. Thank you, JoAnne. You definitely inspired my use of Emily Dickinson. She always reminds me of you.


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