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My mother is from a family of farmers so digging in the brown earth is symbolic for me today. She had a garden and flower beds until she sold the house and moved into an apartment, but, even there, she kept house plants.

Last night, I chatted with cousins on Facebook. My mother is the last of her generation on both sides of my family. When she gathered with her siblings, there was always tea, chatting (it was never called gossip) and laughter in the house. I think the laughter created the harmony Colleen Lineberry speaks about in her poem.

Thomas Merton wrote that life is about finding our voice through our calling in life, our vocation. My mom raised seven children and babysat many others. Her calling was to be a parent.

Memories and laughter remind us how good the day is.

One morning when I dig
brown earth with bare fingers and
listen to the light wind
shuffle through oak and elm,
I hear the silver of chimes
dangle from a thin wire,
the cadence of children
laugh themselves dizzy
like swirls of bubbles at play.

A choir of robins
trills gossip and questions,
a thicket of poems in the understory.
Each voice
from each perch
through a window of sky.

I remember
to remember
how good this day is:
to slow through creation
along with the breeze
as it gentles and
praises the trees.


About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

35 responses »

  1. Oh, I love this one, Ivon. πŸ™‚

  2. I doesn’t matter how long a person lives. It always seems as if they left too soon.

  3. Savour the memories.

  4. Beautifully written memories.

  5. A very important calling and well recognized here today.

  6. beautiful Ivon. Thank you.

  7. I shared this with My mom, who is working in her garden today while missing her Mom – a minister’s wife who raised 7 children, loved the Hope of Spring & Growing Green things and the Peace and Joy of Easter Sunrise Services –
    Thank you for posting:
    “We always receive, from a variety of ways, exactly what is needed, at exactly the right time” – πŸ™‚ Thank you for your gift today! πŸ™‚

  8. I remember
    to remember
    how good this day is
    thank you
    for this little piece
    of joy

  9. Each day is short; each effort small … we can appreciate and recognize how valuable and beautiful our life is, though. We can appreciate it – find joy, and share our joy.

  10. Very beautiful, Ivon. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Some things make sense yet we wish not to see the worst in it. From the passing of a loved one, to our own inexorable march to the same place. The beauty is finding that purpose, as secure as Chauncey Gardener inside his tiny bubble. He had his plants, his regal dignity and a place to dream at night.

  12. A beautiful poem, and a moving post, Ivon. I hope your Easter was good!

  13. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

    That is lovely! Like your mother, my mom was heartbroken not to be able to grow things any longer. Honestly, she could grow anything. I had a completely brown thumb.


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