Thursday, 18 January 2018

"You make learning like playing"

There have been many little things over the past the years that my little ones have told me. Most often, I'm pretty sure they don't know how much it means, but to me, these moments are so precious and they mean so much.

Two days ago, tired and exhausted from a long haul weekend finishing my dissertation, I walked into class for the latter hours of the school day. To be honest, I was in no mood to take an afternoon session that day, and most afternoons, my students are in no mood to work either.

"Let's do English." I said.

"Okay ma'am!"

"Let's see what might be an interesting story or poem to do...", I said, opening to the contents page.

"Ma'am, I like learning with you." O said, out of the blue.

Caught off guard and curious, I said, " What do you mean?"

"You make learning fun. I like playing, but you make studying like playing, so I like learning with you."

"Yes ma'am, I never used to be able to learn, in my old school. But with you, studying is easy."

A chorus of agreements and similar statements filled the class and I stood there overwhelmed trying to make sure I didn't cry with joy. I don't think I could've explained to them why.

It took me a moment to recover, but when I did, I think the class was more fun than it ever was before. Or maybe that was just for me.

The magnitude of that statement hit me straight through my heart and even the thought of it overwhelms me. I can only rejoice in Christ for these dear ones I have the privilege to teach. Ever grateful!

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

This Teacher's Day

I remember being about ten years old and wanting to be a teacher, but I have a feeling, that's not when it started.
I remember wanting to run a play school like the one I was sent to - a second home.
I remember wanting to drop science, but still teach, in grade five.
I remember dropping the idea of teaching literature and contemplating computers instead in grade eleven.
But through it all, I remember that I've always wanted to teach.
I remember someone once close to me asking me what I'd like to be when I grow up, and to my response of 'a teacher', told me that I would change as I grew up. Either they were wrong, or quite possibly, I haven't grown since then, but the wanting to teach hasn't changed much.
Two days ago, someone described what I do as a state of 'being' as opposed to a state of 'doing'. And, that is where I must begin.
Teaching has become what I've come to see as my calling, and for this, I have distinct reasons, with which I shall not bore people with at the moment. But all the same, I have been led to teach over time and over multiple spaces.
It is a state of 'being' for me, as was aptly put, I think. I do not know what I would do if I wasn't to teach. I do not know who I would have been, if I had wanted something else. Although, I did have the choice that many people seem to feel devoid of. Yet, despite it all, I love that I am and that I do.
I remember a little origami flower I received a few years ago. That was my first ever teacher's day gift, with a little note that held lots of love.
I remember smiling faces and flowers that have been presents over the past the years, and am thankful.
Today was a day that was unlike any other day. It was a day that my students reminded me how special they are, and how much I am loved. It is humbling.
Over the past week, I have been shooed out of class rooms and halls, while students practiced their routines and songs for today. It showed me their care and compassion. It showed me their love.
Today, I was shooed out once again, and then welcomed in with great honor and excitement, to a note on the board and lovely students presenting me with things that mean so much more than what they are at face value. It is an overwhelming moment of emotion to walk into.
Watching routines come to life, having tasks handed out that aren't quite so simple, and seeing the joy on faces as you willingly participate, though hesitant, in things that make you severely uncomfortable.
To come home to a card from my first and most favorite, is cause for an exuberant overflow of joy to embellish what has otherwise been a splendid day in itself.
Teaching is not walking into a classroom to be the boss. It is not knowing what to do all the time. There is so much more to it, and I am constantly learning from my students just as I hope that they may be learning from me.
It is a challenge. It requires a lot of time, effort, patience, and all of the other fruit of the spirit. But it has never been anything less than worthwhile.
I am blessed. I am grateful. I am a teacher.

Monday, 4 September 2017


You and I
We are different.
And yet,
Not quite so.

When we are apart,
We are separate,
But connected in a
A distinct flow.

If you and I are we,
And we can be one;
Then perhaps one is not
As lonely a number as sometimes
It seems to be.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

'The Worst Day'

Early morning, a death at the threshold. I saw the sorrow in her tears as she fought them back holding on to hope. But in the midst of it, I felt she knew. Part of her was sure that her husband would not come home again. But this is not a situation that life prepares you for. 

Life does not prepare you for death. And therefore, I did not comprehend.

To be taken through a nine year old's journey through his grief over his father's death, was quite honestly painful. Albeit, it was 'just' a movie, it might as well have been the story of so many people, since the movie is based on the 9/11 terror attack. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I do not know what Daldry aimed at when he directed it. But, what I have taken from it is the fact that there are things we do, that cannot be undone. 

But death defeats all. An absolute?

And yet, life goes on. 

Oskar Schell recalls the day as the 'worst day'. 

I have loved and lost but once so far. My grandfather. Over nine months ago. I remember my father's call that woke me up. I heard his words and merely passed the phone to my brother. I had no reaction then either. Until my uncle called with plans of travel. Pain in each voice from that moment on. The dead one was gone. The living grieved. Sorrow. And as reminded once again as I watched the movie, the feeling of pure helplessness, There is nothing you can do about it. An upsetting fact. 

Perhaps it was one of my worst days. 

Nine months later, to think of the fact brings tears and pain. I do not like to talk about it. But the memories of him bring joy, bring strength and the reminder that LIFE persists. It cannot end, There is little comfort in the fact, but there is much hope in the reality that the choice to remember, and yet to carry on, is to let death have no hold. 

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Water's edge

The water’s edge is a strange place to be in the midst of the storm. I can feel the wind rising, but its call is but an echo in my ears. The rain has been battering against the window panes, but even that is only the sound of chimes in the air. My thoughts are louder, now, than all that is around me. I do not wish to go back. There is an escape within these waves. The storm is brewing, but I am still here. It cannot move me.

My eyes are closed, but my other senses tell me all that happens around me. The chill of the rain as it caresses my skin, the cold water that hugs my feet, the wind that bites the warmth out of me with a brutality that seeks to cause pain. The ebb, the flow, the howl, it is all but music, orchestrated like chaos. The scent and taste of salt in my hair and on my lips, draw memories into my vision. I can’t tell which ones I’d want to let go of, even if I could.

There is nowhere I have felt safer, and yet, there is nowhere more dangerous that I have been to as yet. My strength fades. I fall to the ground. There is no part of me that is not soaked to the bone, as the sea smiles in victory.  And yet, it is in the darkness of the storm, that I feel the most empowered. It is in the riot of the wind that the calm surrounds me.  

And it is amidst this assault on my senses that I feel his arms around me. I do not need to be in control. Relief washes over me as I realize that he’s found me. The storm rages ever more so, but it cannot tell whether my tears are my own or that of the rain. But I am safe as I hear him whispering in my ear, ‘I’ll always be here.’

Saturday, 21 November 2015

I dreamt of you last night.
But, I can't remember the dream.
And that hurts, because it feels like I'm forgetting you.
But I don't want to.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Life is a journey
To each their own.
Death, an adventure
As yet unknown.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Dust returned to dust.
Brokenness that

I want to feel,
Never again.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Home to House

The empty shell that was
Once your home;
Now a shadow,
Across the scar in my being
When you left...
But a house.

My memories serve me no comfort
As I remember. 
The hope taking little pain away 
As I wait.

We go on, 
But you went on.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015


We are each on a path,
That no other may tread for us.
None other may walk beside us.
Except for the brief moments
That we are allowed
To accompany each other.

And in those moments
We find
Who we are;
Who we want to be;
Who we ought to be.

And yet,
Always Incomplete.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Friday, 25 September 2015


To the man who loved me more than I could ever love at all, I bid adieu.
And yet, a legacy that touches the world cannot be defeated by the mere likes of death. 
You live on in us. And we live on with you.
So, this is not goodbye.
I'll see you when He decides I can come home too.


Sunday, 26 July 2015

Rat Race Manifesto

There will be one day when all humans live in peace... Each one caring for only the simplest of things such as food, water, clothing shelter, etc. Anything more would be a luxury that they cherish dearly, a gift of some sort perhaps from someone dear to them. And they will say, “Our ancestors ran a rat race for nothing. They knew nothing of how to live... They used excessively, wasted everything, and realized always only too late. They spoke of change and life anew. They spoke of being able to fix all that they had ruined. But that’s all they did. Speak. Mere words were their ‘contribution’. They were too busy with the race. Each trying to get ahead of the other and using whatever means are necessary for it. Being the best, or trying to, was most important for their survival. They spent so much time competing, that they lost all sight of the beauty that was around them; all the wonder and magnificence of nature, ignored and eventually destroyed.”  Or will they?

We humans trample over all, thinking we are greater, better, smarter. Yet it is those in sync with nature that know what the Earth needs. They do not cut down trees to construct wider roads. They do not spill oil in the water. They do not pour toxic materials untreated into the water sources. We destroy, they suffer but try to adapt. We destroy some more, they suffer. How much can we expect them to suffer? They do not fight it. When their attempts at adaptation fail, they die out and we grieve for their extinction. And go on with little change.

But this need not be. We can change it. The future is not written in stone. It is carved through the choices we make and through our actions. If not us, then who will help the Earth?  Will there be anyone else to come to save it? Will there be anything left for us to even have descendants who think so badly of us? Will they be able to survive on what we leave, that is, if we leave anything?

The rat race has to stop. The more we race. The less track we have to run on. The more we help each other, the further the track stretches, but it’s no longer a track, more of a road that we travel together. Cooperation and consideration are the keys.

Some say, “What’s the point? It’s all going to perish anyway.” To which we reply, “When we can make things last longer and be of more use, why throw it away now? With your attitudes, everyone might as well destroy all things around them, claiming its just preparation for an even otherwise impending doom.”

This has to stop. We decide. We shall not be wasteful. We shall not be greedy. When we have more, we share. When we have enough, we try to make it last longer than estimated. We are sympathetic to the Earth’s needs. We seek to find new ways to be less wasteful and more economical; optimum use of minimum resources. We can bring the change. We can be the Difference. We are the Difference.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

The Stranger I Know

Well, I still don't know your name. And honestly, I doubt, I'll ever see you again. But, we'll never know until it happens (or doesn't). Therefore, I guess, you and I are strangers. But, I can't say that's true.

Let me start at the beginning... Our paths first crossed over a year ago, and I'm pretty sure you took as little notice of me as I did you. I remember you were busy being in charge of whatever it was you were in charge of... and I was in my own world trying not to freak out, as always, about having to stand in front of a crowd. I remember seeing you a few weeks later at another fest... You were still as unassuming as you were the first time. I remember because I'd asked a friend why you looked so familiar when you smiled at me. But you were still forgettable. And I did forget you. We were still strangers.

We still are... even though I'm beginning to sound like we've met... you and I both know that we haven't. But I doubt I'll forget the day I actually saw you. No, we didn't converse; we weren't introduced; we weren't forced to cooperate; I doubt we even have friends in common. But I remember the day I recognized something in you, I'd never seen before. I saw JOY in your eyes. Not happiness. Pure joy. Joy that I'd seen in very few people before and since.

It was a morning like any other for me, where I left home, got on one bus and waited to get off and board another one. Your bus was stopped at the red light just next to mine and as I tried to figure out why your face was so familiar, just before recognition dawned, you smiled. I smiled back. And our buses went their separate ways. You made a difference that morning; made it special. All you had to do was smile and that joy spilled over - unadulterated. Of all the people I've befriended on public transport, I'd say my story with you is the oddest, because, we still haven't met.

Our paths crossed again last month, and I still saw that joy in your eyes. Refreshing and bright. Genuine. I was on stage. You smiled with recognition, again... or at least, I'd like to believe it's recognition. I wouldn't be surprised if you were just smiling in encouragement, though. But that joy hadn't changed a bit. I was thrilled to see you, to see that smile. I should've said something, at least a "Hello"; I didn't have the courage. What if you'd never seen me before? Or maybe you would have greeted me back. I guess I'll never know.

But I'll remember. There's a part of me holding on to that fear, hoping our paths don't cross just so I won't embarrass myself; yet, another part hopes to see those joyful eyes again, knowing that you'll remember me. I suppose I may never know... But next time, I'll try harder to gather up the courage to talk to you. Just so you won't be the stranger I know anymore.

Monday, 14 April 2014


Faces of you, I don't know.
Phases of you that do not show.
Joy that hides a broken soul.
Sorrow resides in the unknown.

Void I fell into,
Numb, cold.
Falling further,
This frozen mould.

Voiceless wanderer
Sightless bird
Flightless phoenix
You now burn,

From these ashes, you will not rise.
From this furnace, the dark needn't hide.
Grasped in fate and fortune's folds.
Cast into destiny's hold.