When I am not writing, I am a high school Language Arts teacher in Kuna, Idaho. It is a job that requires balance–and it is worth it every single day (even when I grumble and act cynical). It’s been rough out at my school the past few weeks. I know, it’s the holidays and a time to be grateful, but it seems that just when the community is pulling itself out of one event and seeing some light, there is something else.
Even though there have been several Kuna community tragedies in the past month, I am consistently reminded to let go of my pessimism and hold to those I love and the many positive events that remind me why life is beautiful.
I hold my kids a little tighter. I am blessed with a warm house filled with love and Christmas joy. I consider the snow as that powdered and cursed beauty.
This is why the book release party on Thursday was such a needed escape. My thanks to all who support me as a writer and support the written word.
I’ll leave this post with a poem by Mr. James Russell Lowell. Its words keep coming back to me lately (my students read it in class several weeks ago) and it returned to my mind this morning.
The First Snowfall
THE snow had begun in the gloaming,
And busily all the night
Had been heaping field and highway
With a silence deep and white.
Every pine and fir and hemlock
Wore ermine too dear for an earl,
And the poorest twig on the elm-tree
Was ridged inch deep with pearl.
From sheds new-roofed with Carrara
Came Chanticleer’s muffled crow,
The stiff rails were softened to swan’s-down,
And still fluttered down the snow.
I stood and watched by the window
The noiseless work of the sky,
And the sudden flurries of snow-birds,
Like brown leaves whirling by.
I thought of a mound in sweet Auburn
Where a little headstone stood;
How the flakes were folding it gently,
As did robins the babes in the wood.
Up spoke our own little Mabel,
Saying, ‘Father, who makes it snow?’
And I told of the good All-father
Who cares for us here below.
Again I looked at the snowfall,
And thought of the leaden sky
That arched o’er our first great sorrow,
When that mound was heaped so high.
I remembered the gradual patience
That fell from that cloud like snow,
Flake by flake, healing and hiding
The scar of our deep-plunged woe.
And again to the child I whispered,
‘The snow that husheth all,
Darling, the merciful Father
Alone can make it fall! ‘
Then, with eyes that saw not, I kissed her;
And she, kissing back, could not know
That my kiss was given to her sister,
Folded close under deepening snow.