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The Truly Great

Spring is near and should arrive in a few days. This March was reminiscent of last March with lots of snow. Last year, we had a tragedy as a young woman died in a car accident during the worst storm. She was an older sibling of former students and, although she was not a parent, she subbed for her mom as a classroom helper. I was apprehensive the first time, but it was an incredible and indelible experience. She made such an impact on the students and left me comfortable with the idea older siblings had much to offer.

Thich Nhat Hanh spoke about when people they leave their mark. When I pay attention, I can recognize this young lady’s greatness in our classroom. Stephen Spender wrote a lovely poem that reminds me of the greatness people leave. I pause and can how “these names fêted” by many of nature’s gifts. I smile having witnessed this greatness.

I think continually of those who were truly great.
Who, from the womb, remembered the soul’s history
Through corridors of light, where the hours are suns,
Endless and singing. Whose lovely ambition
Was that their lips, still touched with fire,
Should tell of the Spirit, clothed from head to foot in song.
And who hoarded from the Spring branches
The desires falling across their bodies like blossoms.
What is precious, is never to forget
The essential delight of the blood drawn from ageless springs
Breaking through rocks in worlds before our earth.
Never to deny its pleasure in the morning simple light
Nor its grave evening demand for love.
Never to allow gradually the traffic to smother
With noise and fog, the flowering of the spirit.
Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields,
See how these names are fêted by the waving grass
And by the streamers of white cloud
And whispers of wind in the listening sky.
The names of those who in their lives fought for life,
Who wore at their hearts the fire’s centre.
Born of the sun, they travelled a short while toward the sun
And left the vivid air signed with their honour.



About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and spent the last 14 years teaching in an incrediable hybrid school setting. My dissertation topic and research were how teachers experience becoming who teachers, as human subjects. For me, teaching is a calling and vocation that allows me to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what will call me. We have begun a small consulting and leadership firm called Rocky River Leadership & Consulting Ltd.

8 responses »

  1. I dream of the ending of winter. I feel each winter cuts deeper into me each passing year.

  2. Who wore at their hearts the fire’s centre.
    Born of the sun, they travelled a short while toward the sun
    And left the vivid air signed with their honour.


  3. Pingback: well, Tickle me Pink & Blue – I’ve been presented a Liebster Award…or two | humanTriumphant

  4. Good morning, Ivon. I’ve added a link to my site where I’ve nominated you for a Liebster award. Feel free to “accept” it or not, but I thought others should see some of the transformational messages you weave & share. -j


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