mossy pier2

So, the moss on these pilings was a vivid green, full of life.  The water that crashes in with the waves daily onto the pilings of the pier takes a toll.  The pilings aren’t clean and smooth and brownish-gray, they are weathered and alive with color.  Vibrant. The waves that crash in leave their mark on these weathered pilings and the marks tell a story.  The weathered look from the wind and waves and moss adds texture and beauty that make the scene so much more interesting.  Love that.

Like the pilings, we are all a bit weathered. Some of us more than others.  Some of us show the wear and tear less, some show it more.  But the older (more weathered 🙂  )  I get, the more I appreciate the beauty of the imperfect, the stories told by scars and lines, wisdom and experience in people’s lives, and the beauty that comes into our lives through the unplanned interruptions. We all have countless stories to tell that are sometimes told without us saying a word.

As I watched the waves crash in on these pilings, i was so aware that the beauty was often in the impact…as the drops of water filled the air as a result of the pilings impeding their path.  So much of life is full of that…the disruptions and things that come into our path and slow us down, can surprisingly  become something that can polish and change us and make us all the more beautiful.  Interruptions, disruptions, and roadblocks often make us reexamine our path, and help us to take a good look at where we’re going.  In the midst of all of that, they can make us appreciate how much we have to be thankful for.

As a new school year begins, I’m certain there will be lots of unplanned interruptions, disruptions, experiences that wouldn’t have been in my script had I written the play.  But I also know that often those are the very things that have been used in my life and my children’s lives to grow us up, to “weather” us, if you will, to season us and polish and help us to grow to be the people we were created to be. Some of the students I work with who are the most “weathered” and have faced countless challenges and struggles in their very young lives will be the very ones who teach me and allow me to see some beautiful things come up out of what we would never choose in our lives. I’m thankful for the challenges behind, the challenges ahead, and the little respite that I have right here, right now, to think about the year ahead and hope to make an incredible indelible mark on the students I come in contact with.

The pier was such a visual to me of how things take a toll, but often there’s a beautiful outcome that comes as a result of being weathered.  Also, the lesson of the pier is that one piling cannot hold up a pier.  it takes each piling doing it’s thing in it’s place, collectively with all the other pilings doing their thing in their place, to hold up a pier on which hundreds of people walk daily. Lesson from the pier?  We need each other.  Period.  Collectively we stand.  Divided we can be pulling in opposite directions and spend useless time with no movement.  Same thing in families, schools, classrooms, communities, churches.  Collectively, we as individuals need to do our thing and support the whole and work toward a common goal.

Just a few thoughts from a weathered, no, a seasoned teacher who will be going back to the classroom tomorrow.  Thankful, so very thankful for the privilege to work with children.  Praying that God will use the disruptions and challenges to enable me and my students to grow by leaps and bounds as we overcome whatever may come into our paths, and that we may have a common goal of growing by leaps and bounds academically, socially, and emotionally. Pillars in society don’t just become pillars…they start out as children with eyes wide open and inquisitive minds.  But it takes hard work, obstacles, challenges, and time to foster those young minds. May we as teachers encourage, inspire, and equip our young students to withstand adversity by challenging them.  May we be like the wind and waves against the piling…not pushing  to the limits, but creating a beautiful picture as these students respond in their own way with their own minds to the things that they face.  Yes, as teachers, may we equip, encourage, inspire our students, for again, pillars of society don’t start out as pillars.  They start out as little boys and little girls in little classrooms with teachers who choose how they will foster the growth of their students.  May we, like the wind and waves,  be a continual presence in our students lives, that give beauty and texture to the pilings and bring out the uniqueness of each one. We are not to be  a hurricane, or a storm, but a continual presence reinforcing growth, beauty, and uniqueness, and  giving opportunity for responses through challenging them to stand.