Posted on November 6, 2017 by Jennifer Wolfe
Going inside the mind of a teacher-mom in November feels so much like this beautiful poem by Kaveri Patel. The newness of the school year has worn off. Old habits replace the eagerness for a fresh start. Tired kids and tired teachers feed off of a desire for the long, long month to just pause, to stop the spinning and pay attention to the change of season.
I’ve written before about the teacher-mom balance. I know so many who relate to feeling like they’re pulled in too many directions and it will only take the slightest bend in a new way to s.n.a.p.
You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?
You feel it.
It doesn’t help that pumpkin is already being replaced by holiday silver glitter, subtly reminding us that there are only how many days left until the holiday season?
I know. I feel it.
I’m trying to stop, to listen to the wind tossing the branches against my bedroom window, to smell the last roses blooming in my backyard, to sip my coffee slowly and deliberately each morning as I attempt to fill my mind with an intention for the day.
It is with this deep gratitude and connection to all the parents and teachers trying to do their best, every day, that I share these words by Kaveri Patel with you today:
Inside The Mind of a Teacher-Mom: Poetry by Kaveri Patel
you who always have
so many things to do
so many places to be
your mind spinning like
fan blades at high speed
each moment always a blur
because you’re never still
I know you’re tired
I also know it’s not your fault
The constant brain-buzz is like
a swarm of bees threatening
to sting if you close your eyes
You’ve forgotten something again
You need to prepare for that or else
You should have done that differently
What if you closed your eyes?
Would the world fall
apart without you?
Or would your mind
become the open sky
flock of thoughts
flying across the sunrise
as you just watched and smiled
~ Kaveri Patel
I found this gem of a poem on A First Sip: Inspiration for Happiness, Love and Peace – if you haven’t checked out their website yet, I hope my sharing this gentle reminder helps bring more gentle beauty into your life today.
Posted on November 13, 2014 by Jennifer Wolfe
It was the juxtaposition here that caught my eye; the hovering between the change of seasons, between permanence and the fleetingness of the moment. I ride by these trees every day, hurrying to school, never stopping to look up or notice.
It wasn’t until this month, when the light changed and the air cooled that I really noticed them – that I really stopped, looked up, and paused. It was the position, really, between the durability of the palm with its strong backbone, its wide, graceful fronds against the fragility of the pistache, finger-thin branches freeing themselves of vibrant red and yellow and orange debris.
It’s just like life.
One minute, we’re enduring life, riding the bumps and bruises and crests of the moment. We’re holding fast, occasionally throwing our arms up in glee, knowing that the immutability of what we know to be real is there to keep us safe. Strong. Comforted.
And right next to us, close enough to touch, a blaze is extinguished. A force at once vibrant and animated, slowly shedding its color in preparation for the next season. The next stage. To go dormant, to conserve its energy for what is yet to come. Fragile. Fleeting.
Both equally exquisite. Both equally elusive. Both equally extraordinary.
It’s just like life.
So I stopped my bike and snapped a photo.
Friday photos are a snapshot of life, a moment in time, an image that lingers. They’re my attempt at capturing the extraordinary in the ordinary – taking a pause to breathe in the moment in this wild and fleeting life.
p.s. – I think you might enjoy these Friday Photo moments from weeks gone by, when I captured a last gasp of summer, Dia de los Muertos and a harvest. Click over and take a look, and please, let me know what you think.
Posted on November 7, 2014 by Jennifer Wolfe
Sunset over UC Davis
I like to walk, especially in the early mornings or early evenings. I try to change it up, to not take the same path every day. Usually I bring my little 16-pounds-of-fury with me for company, but this week he decided to take a vacay with grandma so it’s just me. Alone.
Sometimes my kids walk with me. Used to walk with me, I should say. Now, with one in college and one with a broken leg, I’m usually on my own. It’s ok, though – for me, walking is meditation. Time to clear the monkey mind that’s developed after a day of teaching and simply get back to center. Alone.
Often I walk onto campus to see what’s going on. It kinda is like I never left college – I love seeing the towering buildings with kids spilling in and out. I wonder what they’ve read the night before, and how the professor will excite their brains. I smile when I see a crowd waiting for a midterm to begin, blue books or scantrons in hand. I remember that anxiety well.
Last night I walked with a teacher-mom friend, a woman just like me, going through the changes of a child in college and a teenager at home. We talked about the emptiness of a house with only one left, and how sad and lonely and strange it sometimes feels to be at home now. Alone.
Some things we cannot change. Some things we just need to trust are working out exactly as they are supposed to, even when they don’t feel that way in the moment. Some things, I know, the Universe has put in front of me for a very good reason, requiring me to pause, and think, and feel, and take a very long walk. Alone.
p.s. – Have you read my other Friday Photo essays? You might like the ones I wrote about harvest, beacons, and the world out my window.