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What I Have Learned So Far

I wonder if I do enough. Is there more that I can do? Certainly, I discover the seed Mary Oliver referred to in quiet moments of meditation. What can I do so it grows and I move beyond indolence? Yesterday, a former student visited. He is a success story in my career, a young man who was disengaging from school in late elementary. His parents supported our efforts and the result was a high school graduate, a married man with two children, and he is headed to Africa for work.

He reminded me through his visit that I had done more than talk the good story. We sowed the seed and it flourished.

Meditation is old and honorable, so why should I
not sit, every morning of my life, on the hillside,
looking into the shining world? Because, properly
attended to, delight, as well as havoc, is suggestion.
Can one be passionate about the just, the
ideal, the sublime, and the holy, and yet commit
to no labor in its cause? I don’t think so.

All summations have a beginning, all effect has a
story, all kindness begins with the sown seed.
Thought buds toward radiance. The gospel of
light is the crossroads of — indolence, or action.

Be ignited, or be gone.


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 certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. 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 next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

17 responses »

  1. Beautiful poem! I am re-embarking on a career in education. This time in abroad, in Myanmar. I am excited to get back into the classroom. I will be teaching 3rd grade – new for me as I have only taught HS and Community College. I am excited to not only be ignited, but to ignite the spark. Thank you for a lovely post, I look forward to reading more.

    • Gretchen, thank you for connecting. You get to do what you love and in a new setting. I imagine that is incredibly stimulating and I feel the enthusiasm in your comment. I look forward to following your blog as you re-embark on this part of a new journey.

  2. Hi Ivon,

    I was wondering if you had an email address that I could contact you about contributing to a book on blessing that a colleague and I are writing?

    Have A great evening


  3. I thought your piece very encouraging.>KB

  4. I love “sowing” to young hearts and minds and what a bliss it is to reap.. You remind me of my teachers.

  5. I will return to this poem often Ivon – it is perfect in style and substance. You ignite, inspire and transform. At the crossroad you clearly chose the right path.

    • I like to think I am always at a crossroads. Frost’s poem The Road Less Traveled is one of my favourites. In so many ways, Mary Oliver and Robert Frost speak the same poetic language.

      Take care Mimi and have a wonderful day.

  6. melanietoulouse

    @”Be ignited, or be gone.” – I like this one… sooo true and realistic!
    Amitiés toulousaines, bonne santé et bonne chance dans tout ce que tu fais…
    Merci bcp pour tes “likes”! 🙂

  7. Very Nice poem. Thank you.


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