in their multitude

I step into the wind swept darkness, a hint of winter chill sampling my skin, and my steps hasten to carry me to the relative comfort of my truck and the heated morning commute.  My quickened footfalls echo in the alley; bouncing between walls and homes, speeding away from me in mimicry of my pace and returning slowly from the shadows.  The breeze has swept the air clean and the street lamps cast perfect halos, unblemished by fog or dust, to light my journey and destination, but there is more light than there should be.

My gaze is drawn to the heavens and there are so many stars…

So many stars.

Image Credit: John’s Consciousness: http://jjhiii24.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/the-fault-in-our-stars/

They send me messages of encouragement coded in winks and blinks.  They shower me in cleansing graces of the past.  They call out, each and every one of them, for my attention, demanding that I heed their warnings, take their advice, and rise to their expectations for my future.  And I find that I am overwhelmed in the glow of countless suns, with countless more spiraling planets hurtling unseen, in the space between where my feet falter to a stop and the infinite possibilities the stars imply.

This is but one reality.  This is but one truth.  This is but one planet, spinning around one sun, in a sea of life that cannot be fathomed and understood in its entirety.  There is too much to comprehend on the walk to my truck on a cold, dark, morning.  My thoughts crumble and scatter under the pressure of the beautiful unknowns and, while I flail in a vain attempt to maintain control, I only manage to keep one conscious observation as I renew my trek.

My feet carry me forward again, to one future, under so many stars…

So many stars.

a teacher worthy of praise

To learn, or not to learn, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous teachers,
Or to tune them out and study all alone.
And by ignoring, end them?  To grow, to quest;
No more; and by a quest to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That school is heir to, ’tis an understanding
Devoutly to be wish’d.  To grow, to quest;
To quest: perchance to learn: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that vast knowledge what dreams may come…

I wouldn’t say that school was wasted on me, and while I thought it at the time, I no longer believe I was smarter than all of my teachers.  (Ah, to be young, arrogant, and foolish – invincible, immortal, and untouchable.)  However, partially due to my perception, outlook and attitude while in school, and partially due to the teachers I ended up with, there was no single teacher that ever stood out and changed my life.

In the school setting that is.

An outsider, a victim of bullying, school was not the sanctuary of knowledge and learning that is for so many others.  I dreaded the minutes between classes.  I abhorred the agonizingly dull seconds in classes when I was forced to be present in the class and walk through information I had invariably covered on my own weeks before.  It was only a place of excitement and learning when I was allowed to look ahead and study on my own, when I was allowed the time to quest after knowledge at my own pace.  Those stolen moments of brilliance were rare.

Since my escape from the confines of the classrooms, life, and living it, has taught me, changed me, shaped me, inspired me, influenced me.  And behind all of those experiences you will find my parents, who set me on my path pointed in the right direction, gave me guidance when it was needed and gave me the freedom to make mistakes and learn on my own too.  They have been my most influential teachers.

My mother, an English Teacher by education and a mother by profession is ever my guiding light for all things writing.  She continues to read and edit my endeavours in the written word and offer suggestions and corrections as needed.  She encourages me.  She pushes me to strive for me.

My father, a physicist and engineer by education (yes, he is a rocket scientist) and mountain man and world traveler by choice is often the spark plug for my mountain adventures.  It is those sojourns into the wild that have so often become the muse for my stories.  It is those experiences that have taught me how I want to live in this world.

Thank you both for being there for me when I rebelled against the conventional structures of education.  Thank you for your patience and your guidance.  Thank you for continuing to be teachers even as I embark on this new journey in my life: my own family.

….

I couldn’t actually remember all the words to Hamlet’s speech, so I looked them up here.