Tuesday, June 23, 2009

An Honor

Monday I drove to Mizzou in Columbia, MO for a banquet and an excellence in teaching award. I was nominated by one of my former students as her most influential teacher. Such an honor! It was great to see Abby again; she has grown up to be such a beautiful and brilliant young woman. It was a long day and a long drive, but well worth it. I got home before midnight. Imagine if I had stayed until the concert was over.

As I drove, my body was behind the wheel, but the scenery caused my mind to wander into a poem. I traipsed through knee-high clover all the way back to childhood, laughed through waist-high fields of Queen Anne's lace; delicate, white floral heads bobbing in the summer sun, and I smiled at clusters of orange, floral trumpet vines blaring memories of grasshopper chases as I tried to capture Lazy Elmer, the main character in all of Dad's stories. "You'll know him when you find him; he'll spit tobacco juice into the palm of your hand." Oh that story-telling dad of mine!

I recalled a day when I was very young, riding in the car with my parents travelling the same road. I heard my mother say, "Look over there at the hand of God." I popped up from the mattress in the back of Dad's old panel truck to see Him. "WHERE is God!" I wanted to know. I expected to see the long-haired man in the long flowing robe, the one whose photo hung in my Sunday school class. Wow! Would I have news to tell the kids at school.

"Look in that field over there!" Dad said.

All I saw was a field of uncut hay swaying rythmically in a strong breeze, but both of my parents rambled on and on about how the hand of God was orchestrating the tempo. I laid back down. Disappointed. Thinking I was so much smarter than my parents even as a little girl.

Now, I know what they meant. As twilight's faint glow sillhouetted the land, I thanked God for allowing me to have lived so long, taught so many students and impacted so many young lives in my 32 years of teaching.It has been an honor. It is 6:30 a.m. and I have to get ready. It is my last day of this school year.

1 comment:

Julia said...

For all the ups and downs, all the pains, they also taught you poetry and metaphor. What a gift!