The eastern morning sky kissed goodbye to nighttime sky as I climbed out of my car, scrambling with my totes and slamming the car door with my foot. As I glanced eastward, ribbons of orange, velvety apricot and gold caught my attention and I was captured for a moment, lost in this small gift of the morning sunrise. . . and then I heard them.
The Wild Geese.
High above, I listened to their calls to me. I’ve heard that music before. I knew what they were messaging. Mary Oliver’s poem came to me in full verse.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting . . .
Yes, yes, I know. Always, the wild geese. They remind me of this. I should quit hauling all this stuff home on the weekend, thinking I am going to dig into it. I carry this bag back and forth from my classroom, to my car, to the house, back to my car and into the classroom again. The contents remain in the bag, while I wear a cloak of guilt that says I’m not doing enough. Thank you, Mary Oliver for teaching me that who I am, what I am, and what I do is good enough. It’s ok. Thank you.
Poetry is such a part of who I am. I’ve memorized a few poems. Wild Geese. Stopping By The Woods On a Snowy Evening. These poems bring me calm and peace, like a prayer, when I call on them to rest upon.
I have plenty of poetry mentors: Mary Oliver, Georgia Heard, Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge, and Ralph Fletcher. But, my online secret social media poetry mentor is Amy Ludwig Vanderwater. She is the author of several fabulous poetry books, however, it’s her online home at Poetry Farm that keeps me alive when I need a poetry feeding.
She leads me to poems of any topic or technique. If you are looking for poems about art, she’s got some. Need a poem about spring mornings? You’ll find one of those, too. Once you discover this secret hiding spot of poems, you will visit here a gazillion times. If you peek along the left side, you will discover resources galore. I so love it when writers/poets/artists share their ideas for free. It’s such a gift. Especially to us teachers.
Amy also teases me into sneaking over to her other playground – sharing her writers notebooks. Heavens. Seriously. I can’t even. If you are not using a writers notebook, you will be when you are done visiting here. Stuck for notebook ideas? Go here now. Never again should you say, I’ve nothing to write about.
And, if you write poetry or would like to try your hand at it, you need to swing over to Poetry Friday, which sometimes Amy hosts.
Hopefully, you don’t save poetry for one month in April and instead, you sprinkle it in your classroom all year long. Regardless, one way or another, you are missing out on some glorious poetry treasures if you have never stopped in at Amy’s home.
I’m participating in twowritingteachers March Challenge of posting a blog post every day for the month of March. While I’ve missed a few days, I’m still in it for the long haul! To check out other writers, visit here.