Friday, February 14, 2014

What's Been Lost Is Recovered

He gave me a lovely garnet ring four years ago. And then one day it was missing. The last time I recalled wearing it was the day I took it off because my hands were so cold it swung around my ring finger and fell onto the carpet in front of me. I remember thankfully thinking I needed to put it away for safe keeping. And then, I have no more memories of what I did with it. 

It just vanished. I had all sorts of imaginations -- and definitely more than a handful of not-so-very-nice suspicions. Four long years went by and every once in awhile I thought about it, looked for it, wondered about it, went over my suspicions about its disappearance. 

Yesterday, during the last part of our snowstorm frenzy, I went upstairs with a mission in mind: to finally sort through and rearrange my dresser drawers. I pulled out the first drawer and began removing things. There in a corner, under sachets, and an assortment of underclothing, sat a very tarnished brown bit of something. 

When I reached in and picked it up and turned it over in the winter light, my heart leapt and fell at the same time -- elated to have it back, but shamed by my wondering over the worst of people during its missing years. 

I can now piece together what happened: I might've laid the ring on my dresser and it might've fallen into that open drawer and eventually was pushed back into a dark corner where it lay, along with my deep suspicions, tarnishing to a dingy brown over all those years. 

What a wonderful Valentine's gift today, the gift of something loved and long lost, returned.  But even more importantly, was the gift of realizing how completely wrong my creative imagination, gone badly wrong, could lead me. 

And so, while I used that silver cloth to bring back the sterling silver's gleam, I tried to do the same with my thoughts about those people. I brought back the shine of all those tarnished thoughts about people I held on to for far too long.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

You know how I wondered recently if the joy of working with middle schoolers would translate well to working with elementary schoolers? It does.  Today, many of the teachers pulled the classroom blinds down so the kids wouldn't be distracted by our possible snowy weather. Just like most blinds in most classrooms, they didn't quite go all the way down, and a corner was caught up sideways with a chunk of outside peeking in. The first student who noticed the snow flurries gleefully shouted out loud, in a sort-of-quietly-working-room, {{{It's SNOWING!}}} Sure enough we looked up to see that little corner of playground all covered in white. One of the girls in my group looked up at me and stated, "Oh no... I think we are definitely going to have to stay here tonight," in a matter fact kind of way. I assured her we'd all get home just fine in this dusting. She still looked dubious. Five minutes later that now rowdy bunch was lined up in assorted half-zipped coats, gloves and hats, "three minutes early for lunch," so they could run a lap around the blacktop, flapping their arms, tasting the snow, laughing boisterously out loud before walking quietly down the hall to lunch with red cheeks and snowflakes still melting across their backs.