A gaggle of geese
Gather near pond, honk and flap
In the evening glow
Starry, starry night
Stand still, inspired, softly say
O my soul, praise God
With many other writers, I’ve been focusing on gratitude this month. Today I wrote of a brief exchange that brightens each morning. As I stand at my assigned spot greeting and directing arriving students each morning as parents drop them off in our car line, I get varied responses. One of my ELL students is usually one of the last few to arrive. He ALWAYS tells me good morning and have a great day. His kindness and smile are especially meaningful because he is so shy.
Here’s the moment, in my “gratiku.”
He says Good Morning
Cheerfully each day to me
Sweet reason for thanks
Our votes together
Count for our nation’s future-
Be thankful and VOTE!
What a privilege,
This right of citizenship-
Be thankful and VOTE!
Years ago (we won’t talk about how many years) we lived in Augusta, Georgia. It was my husband’s hometown, but we were living there courtesy of Uncle Sam. My husband was an Army chaplain stationed at Ft. Gordon. Since he grew up in Augusta, he knew all the fun places to go. For the holidays, Fatman’s was always on the list. It was open year round with a store for holiday decorations and crafts, and a restaurant with great Southern cooking. In the fall they had a haunted house, hayrides, and a bonfire.
Once the weather was cool and crisp- you really have to wait for that in Georgia- it was the place to go, the place to get a favorite fall food. The only place, really, to truly enjoy this particular fall food. Oh, you can buy it elsewhere- though it’s probably hard to find in the North. It’s a Southern specialty. There are probably a lot of people who have never tried it. (I feel sorry for them!)
In the South you can actually buy this food in a can in the grocery stores. I don’t think I ever knew anyone who did, though. Most Southerners either had it homemade or from some local place like Fatman’s where you could sit around a bonfire with a big pot on the fire and this treat was served up in little paper bags. Eating them from that bag kept your hands warm and delighted your tastebuds. Have you guessed? One of my favorite fall foods because of the happy memories that it brings… much better than anything pumpkin spice… boiled peanuts! Nothing matches the salty, yummy, just past crunchy, almost creamy goodness! I haven’t had it in years (I’m back in Indiana now) but I still remember how good boiled peanuts are when you’re sitting around the fire singing and talking and enjoying a cool fall evening.
As I drive to school in the early morning, the earth is tucked beneath a fuzzy pinkish blanket. Above the pink, the sky is a dusty blue in the transition from night to day. The night’s full moon lingers, round and heavy in morning sky. As the sun rises, the moon fades. The trees, still green, but splashed with red, orange, and yellow, shine in the brightening light of day. As I enter the city the sun reflects blindingly off the many-windowed tall buildings. I arrive at school and as I climb out of the car, gather my bags, and walk to the door, the cool air feels fresh and crisp. The sky above is a clear and brilliant blue, and the sun rules the day. Oh, how I love autumn days!
Today was sorting day. No, I wasn’t at Hogwarts and no sorting hat was involved… though maybe a hat would have made it more festive. (Doubt it!) No, it was the day the plastic containers and lids were finally so out of control I couldn’t ignore them any more. I have a tub I keep them in so they won’t take over the whole kitchen, and so they‘ll be reasonably handy for stashing leftovers away or packing a lunch (not as many of those since I’ve been working at home most days- that’s about to change as we begin a phased-in return to school October 5). Still, it had gotten to the point I needed to sort through what seemed like dozens of pieces to find a container and lid that matched every time I needed one. I really don’t get how that happens- I always use them in matched pairs- so how do they become so disorderly? Oh, well, for now they are back in order, and I’m hoping once again they’ll stay that way. But probably not…
These days, we all look for the small, good things to keep us going. This slice is about one from my day.
Today I went for my annual eye exam. As usual, since I’ve reached a certain age, my eyes haven’t changed much (which is a good thing). So I didn’t really NEED new glasses. But I didn’t get new glasses last year, either.
“Just try some,” said the optician, who has helped me pick out new glasses before, “and I’ll price them for you- then decide.” So I did.
The price was right. My new PURPLE glasses will arrive in two weeks!
Yesterday once again an anniversary of 911 arrived on the calendar. I thought about it in the morning, remembering the bewilderment and sense of disbelief I felt on that long ago morning. How at school colleagues and I would go on with the day, proceeding with lessons planned, yet being drawn again and again in our in-between moments to gather around a television watching silently, at a loss for words. Although far removed in distance from the sites where the tragic events unfolded, we felt at one with our fellow Americans. I remembered my thought over and over that day of loved ones disappearing into thin air…
Yesterday we were at school with no students since our district has begun the year virtually. There was no 911 program. I wore a flag pin to remember and honor the day, but it felt empty.
Late in the evening, I saw the daily sunset photo from the lake. It soothes my heart- the beauty of America, an ordinary scene of natural beauty combined with the sorrow represented by our flag at half staff. A fitting remembrance of the day.
Beyond the lake
Beyond the trees
White hot sphere
Sends a shining path
Across the water
Illuminates the flag
On the other side
A golden halo
Spreads an orange glow
Into the sky above