It Seems Like Forever…

It’s been a very long time since I posted here, but as I’m sitting here, I can hear a woodpecker, the conversation of crows, and the little chirps of wrens and sparrows. It feels good to slow down for a few moments and appreciate the beauty of spring in Virginia. The setting sun illuminates the many shades of fresh green leaves against the blue sky. I’m grateful.

Some months ago, I wrote an article that was published in the Virginia State Literacy Association’s new online journal, The Collection. The topic was how I came to make peace with “the reading wars.”

The story I want to tell here, however, is not of the debate in the reading world, but a small story of friendship. It’s a story of a teacher who cares for other teachers as much as she cares for her students.

When I retired, the pandemic lockdown was only a few months along. I needed a way to bring closure to my teaching experience. While talking with my friend, Sally Donnelly (who writes here), she suggested that I write to process this transition in my life. Weeks went by. Finally, I had a draft which she volunteered to read. She gave me feedback, and I revised and then revised some more. Later, she sent me the call for proposals for the new VSLA publication and encouraged me to submit my article.

I had never submitted my writing anywhere except here on this blog. Sally’s encouragement helped me extend my reach. More time passed. I assumed that my article was in a rejection pile, but finally I was informed that it had been accepted for publication. Another round of edits and revision followed.

Another month or two passed. One morning, I got an email from Sally with the link to The Collection. I saw my name in print! It felt so good.

Later that week, Sally and I met for dinner. Very quickly, she excitedly pulled out a print version of The Collection. She turned to the Table of Contents, put her finger down, and said, “Now sign it.” Sally gave me my own “Dot Moment” which I will never forget. I felt like Vashti, whose attempt at art was celebrated by a wise teacher.

Whose work can you celebrate? Reread THE DOT, by Peter Reynolds and consider whose creative spirit you could nurture. You can make a difference like Sally did for me.

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this space to share our stories.