Starting Now…

IMG_3364I’m starting now as if I haven’t already been up for hours…

as if I haven’t made the coffee and the bright red tea kettle hadn’t whistled for your pomegranate green tea…

as if I haven’t cooked the peppered bacon, veggie omelet with mushrooms, onion and crunchy green bell pepper, held together with gooey cheddar cheese…

as if I haven’t sliced the juicy melon or packed the food for your skiing lunch break…

as if I haven’t folded last night’s final load of laundry, and the washer wasn’t humming with today’s first…

as if I haven’t carefully packed your ski boot bag with dry gloves and hand warmers…

as if I haven’t re-positioned the blankets on our bed…

as if I haven’t received an unexpectedly long good morning hug and comforted you when your legs felt like jello and you’re not sure you can make it out the door in the dark, frosty air…

as if I haven’t already had three cups of that coffee with cream and cleared the dishes from the breakfast table…

I’m starting now as if today was all about me…

and grateful that it isn’t.

 

primark

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Leaning Forward Into the New Year

I woke early the first day.  Perhaps it was the thunderous thump that shook the walls of the snow covered house; convinced a bear had hurtled through the downstairs window, I sprang up and searched the house for disturbance.  Finding none, I instinctively checked on my son; although 13, I still follow my maternal tug for ensuring he’s still breathing.

Uncovered and in 55 degrees, he must have thrown himself against the wall searching for warmth.  I kissed his forehead, pulled the flannel-encased down comforter back over his long body, and quietly closed the door.

The downstairs was dark and quiet,  the glow of the porch light hitting the snow providing the only illumination.  Quietly, I began to greet the new year with candle and coffee, journal and thoughts.

It wasn’t enough.  I”m approaching the fifth day of being stuck on the couch, felled with the teacher’s curse of sickness on vacation.  Self-pity set in.  Frustration.  Disappointment.  Lonliness.  Blame.  Pessimism.  Despair.

This is not the way to spend New Year’s morning.  Yet, I just couldn’t feel it-the optimism I knew everyone else was waking up with..

Mired in my thoughts, I glanced out the window for direction.  The sun, beginning to glow through the trees, tempted me.  I should walk to the lake, but it’s 5 degrees outside.  Maybe tomorrow.  Maybe next weekend.  There’s always another sunrise.

Turning to Facebook, I stumbled on Susan Tweit’s essay, Learning Forgiveness, and this quote about her dog, Isis:

“ Still, Isis was simply happy: to be in the world, to take walks and eat three meals a day, to snooze on her cozy bed. Her friendly good nature was so obvious that her beauty, not the scars she would carry for life, was the first thing people noticed when they met her.”

I need to be the person my dog thinks I am.  I need to walk out the door.

Tahoe Park Blvd.
Tahoe Park Blvd.

My snow boots crunched on the icy road as I cautiously made my way down to the lake.  Simple tributes to children’s joy caught my eye, and reminded me of my own son, who had spent the dusk hours of New Years Eve tumbling around in the snow alone, creating his own happiness.

Commando Cam

I knew what I would see: the sun was up, the sky blue.  I’d already missed the dawn, I chided myself.  I’ve greeted nearly 27 new years here.  The snow still kept the gate ajar.  The path still offered entrance, although showed signs of many travelers in the last few days.

But I was wrong.  As I crossed the slight knoll, the lake appeared unlike I’ve ever seen it-at first, I thought I was dreaming.  The mist swirled over the buoys like a magical cauldron  the waves lapped rhythmically, despite not a breath of wind.  And it was silent.

IMG_3368

To experience this with me, watch the video:

I was alone, but what beauty, what strength, what power was before me.  No one else was witness to this spectacle, only me, only because I walked through the door.

I let go.   Fresh energy pumped through me.  I can start anew.  Today.  I leaned forward, let go of the past, and forgave myself in the image of the rising sun.

IMG_3371

And it felt glorious.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Friday Photo: Love Blurs

Image courtesy of Paul Mason
“Love blurs your vision; but after it recedes, you can see more clearly than ever. It’s like the tide going out, revealing whatever’s been thrown away and sunk: broken bottles, old gloves, rusting pop cans, nibbled fishbodies, bones. This is the kind of thing you see if you sit in the darkness with open eyes, not knowing the future.”
Does love blur your vision?  Or are you a veteran of love, wise to the twists and cracks ready to trip you up, knock you over and turn your life upside down?  Squeezing your eyes shut, you think you see clearly, know where you’re going…then zap! the not knowing….the never-knowing….the world out our window.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Friday Photo: On First Glance

On first glance
It’s just ordinary.

Nothing spectacular

Or splendid.

Just petal, tendril and stem

One just like the other.

On first glance

He’s just ordinary.

Nothing unusual

Or magnificent.

Just flesh, bone and skin

One just like the other.

On second glance

It’s a bit different.

Something unusual

Or just eye-catching enough

To stop and look

Closer.

On second glance

He’s a little curious.

Someone uncommon

Or just atypical enough

To stop and look

Closer.

And when you do

Stop

Look

Smell

Pause

And linger,

You find something ethereal

Breathtaking

Dazzling

Someone miraculous

Distinct

And courageous.

And on your next glance

You hesitate

Gazing

Penetrating

Someone or something

So much more alive

And

Exquisite

Than you ever imagined

Possible.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Friday Photo: In The Moment


Taking a road trip can be a stressful experience.  There is the planning, the packing, the money, the time, the scheduling – all that can make leaving the house a real hassle.  Adding into the mix any sort of scheduled activity just further complicates the matter.  Then, tossing in children, pets and a spouse and most moms would rather stay home.

This week all my best-laid plans completely turned upside down and I found myself needing to make an unexpected 260-mile road trip on Friday afternoon.  Logistically and rationally, it didn’t make any sense, but nevertheless I booked a hotel, packed my bags, took off from work a few hours early and loaded my daughter and her ski gear into the car and headed for the southeastern Sierras.

Being the type of planning oriented person I am, spontaneity can often really stress me out.  Having children 
is teaching me that sometimes life is unplanned, uncontrolled, and I’d better just learn to go with it.  I’m
 trying to take life as it comes, but sometimes it’s really hard.  Like many things in life, the more I practice
 the easier it becomes.  Still, stress otfen wins out until I’ve slammed the door shut and there’s no
 turning back.

After several hours of cruising down highway 395 we crested a pass and before us lay the most awesome expanse of Mono Lake.  Descending the hill and climbing closer and closer to the shore the sun began to set, encircling us with a cotton candy pink glow.  As the highway lined the lake I began to see a white edging against the jade green water, and ice cream cone shaped ivory turrets starkly jutting up out of the lake.  Snow?  The rest of the landscape was dry and brown, so I began to look deeper.  I stopped to get a closer look, and realized that what appeared to be snow was simply rock taking on a different hue at that precise moment as the sun went down.

 Hopping back in the car, I realized how lucky I was to be in that exact place that exact moment with
daughter by my side.  I realized that if I hadn’t let go, if I had resisted and refused to change plans, this
 day would have been very different.   What I saw with my eyes was awe-inspiring, and what I saw with
 my heart was awe inducing.  That simple moment with my daughter reminded me of the power of being
 present, and the weakness of being in control.
 So when you think of the days and plans you have in front of you, imagine what would happen if 
you stopped, let something slide, and slipped into the present.  What would take on a different hue for you?

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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