I’d seen the posts,
and the speculation about the
potential storm, but
since they’d been links to
YouTube videos, I didn’t
get my hopes up.
Then it seemed
to gain plausibility.
I was completely at peace
with having school,
and given the green grass
I saw under the thinest ice glaze
I didn’t see why we’d be closed.
Mentally ready, I gave my phone
a cursory glance,
and, despite no buzz or beep to
announce it’s arrival,
was the message that we were closed.
Over the next 30 or so hours,
we would see big fat flakes and
fast flurries of snow that accumulated.
The one day, became two, and since it
was the first two days of our challenge,
they became the topics of many first slices.
Despite not being in the classroom,
I spent a portion of each of those
days with current and former students.
We weren’t discussing word choice or grammar,
literature or writing.
In truth, we weren’t discussing much directly.
But we were there, in that shared sacred space,
remembering and grieving and supporting those
we care for.
It felt unfamiliar to be sharing this space,
this personal experience. None of us really
sure of what to say or do, but rather just
accepting the other’s presence.
As a teacher, I’m acquainted with the
surprise that students express when they
see me in places like church,
or the orthodontist, or worst of all – the water park!
This was different.
I was thankful for Thursday, and
the sun as it reclaimed its position in the
bright blue sky, helping relax winter’s icy grip
that had clenched our town for town days.
Like the slow return of the
spring grass, most of us returned to our rightful roles
as teachers, students, friends, parents,
daughters, nephews, supporters.
I offered a quick blessing of comfort and strength
when I noticed the empty seat and recalled
his sorrow and loss.
Friday, I did the same.
Today, he returned, and we
picked back up where life
had left us before
the comfortable, familiar routine
of our predefined roles.
is that much richer
it is only possible
risk and ventured