Thursday, February 17, 2011

Evasive Hope

The morning sky this past weekend, not quite the florescent scene we experienced today...

This morning I stood outside and watched the sunrise, just like I did yesterday. I have been appreciating the addition of daylight this week as I drive to work parallel with the mountains. The night sky has taken the slightest glow lately, allowing me to barely make out the towering silhouette against the sky. This slight light at 7:00am as I drive to work brings a sunrise around 8:30...just as first period comes to life.

We've continued progressing through The Outsiders in class this week, moving along as we get to know the characters, are surprised by the tragedies, and consider their conflicts in light of personal circumstances. We have continued to have conversations about life and learning, about choices and consequences. Today and yesterday, however, we were studying a poem that Ponyboy quotes as he watches the sunrise with his friend Johnny. At this point in the story they are fugitives, running from the law for crimes committed in self-defense. Ponyboy comments that so many beautiful things in life fade as quickly as they come, much like the sunrise.

Despite the single digit morning temperatures, I took my morning classes out to watch the mountains bathed in the pink hues as the sky came to life. We bothered to gather our coats, inform the security personal, and chance a total loss in control and focus so that we could "practice" the act that our narrator was talking about--holding onto the moments in life that are "gold".

We didn't stay out long, only long enough to soak in the beauty, briefly discuss the relevance of the activity, and rush inside before everyone began to freeze. As we spent the period dissecting and analyzing the poem it was apparent that the mountain-gazing exercise was comfortable for some while foreign for others. Some students totally connected with the elusive side of nature, while others just stared at me, silently begging me to just give them the answers so they could be done with the tortuous exercise.

Spring is starting to feel like a distant hope these days. We see the sun a bit longer everyday, and while the snow will be around for another two months at least, it won't be around forever. Eventually, the trees will come to life. Eventually, our nights will all but cease to exist. Eventually, the school year will come to an end. And as I approach this point in time, I already find myself becoming nostalgic with the reality that there are many students that I currently teach that I may never see again. And when that truth settles on my mind, the urgency to share so much with them makes me ponder what they will truly remember when they walk away from my classroom for good.

I hope that they remember this day. I hope they remember when we took the time to appreciate the beauty of creation, which despite its elusive moments of beauty will always come back around. There is hope in the daily sunrise and the annual spring, even though it sometimes feels fleeting. That is a lesson worth remembering, all the days of your life.


  1. I think I would have loved a teacher like you!

    And I am oh so grateful for the growing daylight right now! ;)