Friday, November 5, 2010
River Of Birds
"What we sense crossing the threshold into the unknown is an unreasonable mix of sensations. The way ahead seems dimly lit, if at all. We must trust our guide, but especially our own feet. Drawn forward by distant music, we know we cannot turn back." - Jesse Jennings
I like to tell myself that during the years I was a classroom teacher, life was less uncertain. There were lesson plans to follow; my week was mapped out. But my thinking is incorrect. Simply not true. Even with lesson plans, I veered off course. Even with a map, I favor back roads.
Memory: An ordinary day, Friday? I am standing in front of my students, 25 second graders, teaching re-grouping? The sky is a charcoal gray, a November sky. The shift in light is so complete, I turn towards the big windows to see the sky full of birds. Not a flock of birds, but a river of birds. Hundreds of small, black birds. I put the chalk down and walk to the window. The kids rise quietly and crowd alongside me. How long we stood in that pocket of time, watching the birds, I can't say. But it's still with me; the roar of silence, the stillness of kids, the river of birds.