Mary Oliver writes mystical and magical poetry. The words, the silences, and the images invoke and evoke something deep within my spirit. The etymologies of invoke and evoke, along with vocation, is “to call” in a ministering sense.
For me, teaching was/is a calling. I am still becoming a teacher. I reflect on what I experienced and arrive at new understandings about what those experience means. Emmanuel Levinas described an event as something that transcends time and place.
In that sense, becoming a teacher is an event as it continues to happen in many ways. Not only am I making sense of what that means and who I am, others do, as well. Even who I am becoming is an intersubjective event that shared with others.
Similar to the rain drops that slowly fall and nourish the oak, becoming some one is something that takes time. The drops and memories may disappear, but not vanish. They leave traces in the tree that grows and the person who is always becoming.
After rain after many days without rain,
it stays cool, private and cleansed, under the trees,
and the dampness there, married now to gravity,
falls branch to branch, leaf to leaf, down to the ground
where it will disappear – but not, of course, vanish
except to our eyes. The roots of the oaks will have their share,
and the white threads of the grasses, and the cushion of moss;
a few drops, round as pearls, will enter the mole’s tunnel;
and soon so many small stones, buried for a thousand years,
will feel themselves being touched.