Note To Self: Remember where you've been
I woke up this morning to a beautiful skyline, from my window I saw the marshes sway gently in a cold winter gust. I watched the clouds disappear over a cup of warm coffee and my mind went off into a contemplative direction.
"Appreciate the peace around you." That's what it said, and I sighed. Taking a deep breathe I just sat with myself. It was a serene moment.
My life hasn't been one of serenity lately. But for just that one moment, and now with a more prominent awakening to my surroundings being that of peacefulness and quiet; I will make the most of it, today, tomorrow and the coming months.
This is a brief respite from the world and it's issues. A place to recoup and appreciate where I've been and how far I've come through the plights of mankind. Knowing the way my mind works I'd better make the most of it. I'm due to rejoin the suffering at any time.
But today I chose to remember:
As an aging adult I've had a tendency to compare where I am to where my fellow high school peers are, what they have to what I don't have. It's a useless endeavor.
One should not compare success, if one's successes are on a different plane of reference to others. I'm the odd duck, what I've come to believe are successes, may not be the majority of other peoples view of success. Since it's my life I'm referring to, once it's all said and done, it truly makes no difference. This is me, where I am besides my future path ahead and the choices I will make, nothing can change my past.
I remember a young girl in my preschool class who didn't speak. Let's say her name is Alexandria. She was five years old. Her mom was a wonderful woman, and I say this because teachers and third party advocates when faced with a speechless child look first to the parents. Alexandria's mom was just as confused as to why her daughter no longer wished to speak as the rest of us.
So while the upper echelon's of the school administration tried to break the mother down to admit some sort of foul play. I worked with Alexandria on a daily basis.
Ignoring her silence, I'd chat with her, walking along side her, directing her to play time, or the snack table. She'd look to me hesitantly ...and I would return her gaze with a confident smile. Simple really simple.
When her classmates began to realize she wasn't vocal, I noticed a change beginning that I would not tolerate. Not one child in my class was to be singled out, made to feel less than or different. PERIOD! Before the tension started and the fear could develop in Alexandria's eyes I made her a special time alone spot. All her own. It was loaded with stuffed animals, (who at first she used as her playmates) and her favorite toys. The most important object was the tape recorder that played the read along books, remember those? The little bell at the end of the page would be the signal to turn the page.
I loved her little spot. It was special and it was all hers. She could invite who she wanted, or go there at any time she felt she needed. Be it in the middle of a class activity, or breakfast. It didn't matter to me. If it was impossible for her to express her feelings or what she was thinking, there was no point of reference I could use to distract her or bring her back to the group. Her time was her own. When she needed to be 'an island' that was my way of giving her permission and plenty of space.
When other children realized she was having a wonderful time in her little area, they would try to take over but the rules were consistent. "This is just for Alexandria, if she wants you to be here, she'll invite you."
One day at lunch we served apples. Alexandria began to choke, it was a silent choke episode, but I'm an observant person. Ignoring the opinion of another teacher, I went to her aid. Decided to do the Heimlich maneuver and "pop". An apple seed bounced clear across the room, we all heard it ricochet under the table. Tears fell, but still not a word from the little lady.
A few days later we received a new little boy into the class. He had that "I miss my mom" and "I don't know anybody, what am I gonna do?" look. Within minutes, Alexandria took him under her wing. Talking a hale storm. "Miss Corinne, doesn't Joey want to put his coat on the hook next to mine?" or "Miss Corinne, it's okay for me to show him where to get his plate for breakfast?" on and on and on..."Joey, you put your napkin next to your plate and your fork goes on top, isn't that right Miss Corinne?" And after we do this and before this we go here, and and and....
It was a jaw dropping day. A beautiful,gorgeous, wonderful,experience that I chose to remember forever.
Sigh...I have more, in other areas. The homeless woman who sang like a bird. The day I shared a few dollars for bread and in return received presents and baskets overflowing with food. Or the days I've come to realize I had saved a life or two.
And yet, on a bad emotional, let me compare myself day. I lean toward believing I've done nothing, or have nothing to show for what I have done.
The social issues that plague this nation are vast. There are children that are abused, or ignored, without family and so on. There are homeless that have just given up. There are the one's who prey on the less fortunate, and there are those who help. But it just doesn't seem to make a dent.
I take away with me and my life experience this one truth. "I can only stay true to my belief's, and affect change within my small circle of influence." I suppose on the average day, I have to be okay with that.