Let Us Be Silent

“Let us be silent,

that we may hear

the whispers of the gods.”

 

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

silent
One of my favorite views in Nicaragua to remember the beauty of silence.

Thank you to First Sip for reminding me of the importance of quiet, of solitude, and of listening to messages from the Universe.

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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2015: A Year of Courage

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My word for 2015 was courage – courage because I knew that coming off the significant changes in my life from 2014, I would need fearlessness to remember that when one door closes, another door opens.

I would need courage to really look at myself in the year before I turned 50, hoping to find some place to simultaneously settle into life as it is, while keeping an open heart and mind for new opportunities.

Courage opened my eyes to parts of my life, right here, right now, that I wanted to pour energy into, and parts that I wanted to shut down. Courage helped me to look at relationships, to identify friendships that were worth investing in, and to feel confident that putting family first was the right choice. 2015 helped me to examine my teaching, my commitment to my career, and most of all, to have the bravery needed to put up strong boundaries to create the life I want to live. And it took a bit of courage to admit that when I turned 50 in early December, I was officially ‘middle-aged’.

emerson courage

It surfaced in my writing, too. Courage allowed me to blog on my own schedule, to share with you, my readers, parts of my life that I was trying to decode, to comprehend, to adapt to. Today I’d love to share some of my favorite posts from last year, most of which reflected on this theme. I’m still thinking of my word for 2016; as many of my readers know, I’d rather focus on the broad expanse a word allows than to create a list of resolutions that somehow never seem to manifest.

Thank you all for reading and commenting and supporting my blog in 2015. I look forward to a prolific year in 2016, and to grow our mamawolfe community of lovers of thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously.

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My top posts of 2015:

Letter To My College-Bound Daughter

5 Things You Probably Don’t Know Teachers Are Thinking

What Teachers Really Want For Teacher Appreciation Week

3 Fun And Easy Ways To Encourage Your Child To Write

Flipped Learning Using Edmodo

She’s Nineteen, And She Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

A Letter To Parents Leaving Their Kids At College

Finding The Teacher Mom Balance

Into The Fog: The Sweetheart Murders

A Year of Accidental Life Lessons

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My favorite posts about courage in 2015:

No New Year’s Resolutions: Just Courage

Being Normal

Love Makes Your Soul Crawl Out

It’s The Last Day of School – So Why Aren’t My Students Leaving?

Living In Courage: Three Vignettes Vlog

 

What are your reflections on 2015? Which were your favorite mamawolfe posts? Happy new year, to each of you, and thank you for being a part of my world.

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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An Early Morning Walk

“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”

Henry David Thoreau

The way the morning light hits it just so... #...
The way the morning light hits it just so…

One of the luxuries of summertime is the beauty of an early morning walk, something I know I will miss as September creeps closer. Sharing these images might just let me hold onto them a little bit longer.

 

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Summer zinnias in northern California

I’m one of those people that walks around with a camera in my hand…I’ve found it helps me pay attention to those small moments in life.

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Rainy morning in northern California

Even when it’s raining…which rarely happens in the summer where I live!

Lavender in Oakland, California
Lavender in Oakland, California

One glorious summer morning my son and I headed off to spend the day with my aunt and uncle. Cameron wanted photography lessons, so my Uncle Paul took us to the Oakland Cemetery-it was a crystal clear day with gorgeous views, but I kept my camera on the little things.

Stargazer lilies in my garden
Stargazer lilies in my garden

Sometimes I don’t make it out of my own backyard…but that’s sometimes ok.

Arboretum trees in northern California
Arboretum trees in northern California

When I do go out, the university arboretum is one of my favorite walks. There’s always something interesting to see there.

Tahoe sunrise
Tahoe sunrise

I love it here. I love it in the snow, I love it in the rain, and I love it in the glow of the sunrise.

 

Tahoe City bike trail to Squaw Valley
Tahoe City bike trail to Squaw Valley

This summer I even loved it on an early morning bike ride from Tahoe City to Squaw Valley and back! Not as easy to take photos without falling off my bike, though.

Arbor in Healdsburg, California
Arbor in Healdsburg, California

Whenever I travel, I try to find some small place to photograph. This was right outside our hotel room.

Dia de los muertos store in Healdsburg, California
Dia de los muertos store in Healdsburg, California

This wasn’t actually taken on an early morning walk, but I was walking…I’m infatuated with dia de los muertos decorations, and this store was full of them!

View of Nicaragua from the air
View of Nicaragua from the air

This morning I spent in the air, so technically this qualifies as an early morning photo! Most of our mornings in Nicaragua were early, but spent in the back of a  pick-up truck driving to the work site.

flower of Nicaragua
flower of Nicaragua

I love this image I took in Granada, Nicaragua. The beauty of the flower against the harshness of the stone wall exemplifies the absolute disparities that exist in this lush and beautiful country.

Hollyhock in my garden
Hollyhock in my garden

Back in the seclusion of my own garden, I found my hollyhocks still holding on. These old-fashioned flowers are stubborn; they keep shooting out and blooming until I pull them up and gently gather their seeds to scatter again next year.

Arboretum bridge
Arboretum bridge and beauty in Davis, California

Back at home, back to my special place to walk.

Majestic Mt. Shasta, California
Majestic Mt. Shasta, California

My daughter shot this out the passenger side window while I was cruising down I-5 one early morning. It took dozens of shots, but it was worth it. It’s rare to see Mt. Shasta not covered in clouds. Maybe someday I’ll walk its peak.

Flowers of Willamette University in Salem, Oregon
Flowers of Willamette University in Salem, Oregon

My daughter was very patient with me on our college tours. She knew that when she turned to me and I wasn’t there, all she had to do was look for the nearest flowerbed and she’d find me.

University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington
University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington

We’d had a very long drive before this walk…but as I got out of the car, I couldn’t help but be a bit awed by the beauty of this campus. As we continued to walk around the university of campus, I wasn’t disappointed.

Meadowlark and coffee in Medford, Oregon
Meadowlark and coffee in Medford, Oregon

Ok, I’ll admit it. There was no early morning walk this day. I had just woken up after driving 550 miles the day before, and all I wanted to do was savor my dear friend Dawn Wink’s first published novel, Meadowlark, while sipping my coffee.

It’s not always about the walk. Sometimes we can find our small moments right next to us, inside. A blessing for the whole day, indeed.

 Many of these photos were posted on my Instagram account – I’d love to connect with you there, too.

 

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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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