We compiled some quotes from our authors at work asking them why they teach, and we've designed a poster with some of their thoughts to give away at our conferences. I was proofing the poster today and came across this, and it got me thinking.
"I teach because I am deeply, unrepentantly grateful for life, and the most potent way I know to express that gratitude is to build a world worthy of the next generation, then give them the tools to make it their own." - Rick Wormeli
Before I start talking about me, I have to point out that this isn't just schtick for a poster, marketing fluff swiped from a fortune cookie. Rick is really like this--if not all the time, at least all the time I've been around him. He has incredible passion for teaching, and is a joy to be around. He is Steve Martin, or maybe the way we hope Steve Martin is in real life. And his words got me thinking about being "deeply, unrepentantly grateful." I love that word--unrepentant--and I love using it in this context. So on this rainy Tuesday, putting a negative review (and, moreover, a frustrating book) out of my mind, here are a few things I am unrepentantly grateful for. I have purposely not numbered or ordered them, and this is by no means exhaustive. Just what comes to mind as I let my soup cook on the stove.
- The change of seasons. This is most noted at this time of year. I hate to wish away summer (especially when Maine winters are as long as they are), but I have been completely in love with Fall for as long as I can remember. The cool mornings and the need to pull the quilt back onto the bed; the shift in produce at the farmer's market and the perfect leaves changing one by one. I am grateful that there is shift and change, death and rebirth in the very earth on which we walk.
- The company of pets. I have joked a lot at work this week about avoiding the moniker of Crazy Cat Lady, but I am unashamed at my love for animals, especially mine. I have been definitively less happy (and my house has been less homey) when I have had (by sheer necessity) to go pet-less. My house is mine now because it is also Addie's. I talk to (and on behalf of) my pets, and keenly feel their loss when I'm traveling (or--::sniff::--when I've lost one). I am grateful that even this single girl doesn't come home to an empty house, and has someone to narrate her cooking to and snuggle with at night.
- The camaraderie of stories. I love that we are drawn to good stories, in real life and in fiction. I love that we love not only to tell stories but to hear them, to be swept in and captured by them. I love sharing stories-- many of them from the BBC :) --with friends, and sinking into a story between the pages of a book all by myself. I love hearing a story drawn out by a good teller, or spinning my own. I am grateful that we are captivated by plot line and character growth, and that those stories then impact our own.
- The therapy of cooking. My kitchen is my shrink's couch. When I have any surfeit of emotion--frustration, stress, grief--but also joy, celebration, enthusiasm--the place I turn to is my kitchen. The act of cooking itself is a fair part of it, but it is mostly the presenting, hosting, sharing of food with those I love (and choose to show love to). This is something doubtless inherited from my mother, and I am grateful for it, and for those who understand and appreciate it.
- The love of God. That seems too simple or pat, but only because it's the best overarching way to put it. I am grateful for the mercy and grace that pulls me out of unhealthy mindsets and lifestyles; I am grateful for the love and compassion that seeks me out even when I am at my most unlovable and pathetic; I am grateful for the promise of a plan and a meaning for my life even when the everyday seems to be all there is; I am grateful for the community and understanding of those who believe what I believe and choose to follow the same Jesus, savior of the world; I am grateful for the promise of restoration and renewal, on both sides of Heaven. All of those things end up stemming from love, and I am unendingly, unutterably, unrepentantly grateful for it.
My soup is done, and I need to go read a book for a work meeting. (This may necessitate another positive blog post soon, so stay tuned...)
(Addie taking a snooze.)