Friday, May 28, 2010

Seeing Roses and Shadows

This morning, taking my usual early walk, I passed a bush of roses I had never noticed before, and it made me wonder about the beautiful things I have failed to notice in my classes. I probably passed these roses on at least seven previous mornings and never saw them – strolled right past them in my typically automatic manner. When I noticed them this morning, they were startling in their modest loveliness, as though they had just miraculously materialized there. I wondered why I had missed them, why I had been so adrift in my thoughts that I hadn’t seen such a lovely sight. Further down the street, I also started noticing the shadows at this time of sunrise – my own shadow slowly altering as I passed close to and then away from streetlights, and the shadows of trees and shrubs shaking in the morning winds. They made a kind of darkish beauty, which, again, I had never noticed before. I knew the shadows had been there each morning, making their gray charm, but I had missed them completely. As I sipped my cup of coffee back home, I wondered what I’ve missed in the 604 English classes I’ve taught so far this year. How many kids more miraculous than any roses have I taken no notice of during a class? How many words spoken from student hearts have risen right past my careless ears?

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