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Trough by Judy Brown

I spent the past few days examining where I am in my life’s calling as a teacher. I was in a trough for a while and it is nice to start climbing out and see the horizon over the edge of the waves. Personal vision formed around and by named values is essential to fulfillment. I am grateful I had people listen and wait for me to speak. The trough is a quiet place and I was able to gather my thoughts, reflect, and regain some passion through their patience and kindness.

There is a trough in waves,

a low spot

where horizon disappears

and only sky

and water are your company.

And there we lose our way


we rest, knowing the wave will bring us

to its crest again.

There we may drown

if we let fear

hold us within its grip and shake us

side to side,

and leave us flailing, torn, disoriented.

But if we rest there

in the trough,

in silence,

being with the low part of the wave,


our energy and

noticing the shape of things,

the flow,

then time alone

will bring us to another place

where we can see

horizon, see the land again,

regain our sense

of where

we are,

and where we need to swim.

Several months ago, I posted an entry called the Mindful Teacher. I suggested there was a need for added fuel for the fire that is my vocation and gives me voice through teaching and learning. Since then, I matured and realize the silence is the oxygen that also helps to breathe life into the fire. It serves as the wisdom, compassion, and prudence offsetting my passion. Without the space, the silence, I become a flickering flame burning out before my time.

About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

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