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I am beginning to feel the leaving part. It is hard after almost 15 years in a place that helped me find my voice as a teacher, a learner, and, most importantly, as a person. Here, I watched young people grow and flourish. What I want to try to remember is the Buddhist understanding of departure. We take something with us from each experience and leave something behind. We are never fully gone from where we were or separated from those we were with. There is something indelible left on both sides of the relationship.

One thing that the leaving part has done is given me some words to write. That has been the gift of the last year: I find words in many places and experiences.

A true paradox this space-

Not always quiet–

Still a sanctuary;

In this space–

Refuge emerged.

We co-created

Learned together–

Grew as one,

Remained individuals

Not easy things to do.

Relationships flourished–

Built inseparable bonds.

In this rectangular circle,

Welcomed each others presence

Witnessed each others human essence

Called each others name

Called those names from the heart.

When we leave–

And, we must,

We look at our time together

Look back with reverence

With no regret.

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.

19 responses »

  1. Oh Yes!

  2. Dear friend. You are true. A true only change the world. They can only bring a new culture, free of narrowed thoughts and hatred among fellow individuals, as the album song (Colonial cousins)

  3. No regrets. A beautiful way to live.

    On another note, as a follower of “A Way With Words”, you are invited to a domain warming party as I move to a new blog address. Click on this link –

    You’ll think you are in a parallel universe.

    While you are there, be sure to click the “Follow” button. Within the next week, I plan to publish exclusively from this site. Don’t miss out on any of the fun!

  4. Change is a hard thing. I imagine that you are leaving something behind you in the halls that will resonate over time – words…

  5. When we can look back with no regret, we’ve accomplished a great thing.

  6. ‘Leaving’ is part of the adventure! When we look back, is when we see the wonder of it all!

  7. One thing I was once told in circumstances such as this post suggest, was to never look back, don’t even think about it….look ahead, look to the future…keep going forwards never back…if you start looking back there is always a chance you will go back…going back may well not be what you really want, or what is right for you…look only ahead 🙂

  8. Ivon, The gift of you as Teacher and friend has changed the lives of those blessed with your love, care, wisdom, and sweet spirit. You will never be forgotten and the knowledge and wisdom you’ve imparted will lead and guide your students and colleagues for many years to come. This poem says it all so well.

  9. This is perfect for my situation right now of leaving my first school…

  10. One aspect of life is that all things end, though where there are endings there are also beginnings.


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