A time to slow down, read, quietly celebrate, and connect with family and friends, this holiday season has been. Like most people, I also spent time in reflection as we approached the year’s end. Reflection is an important part of my life and a core part of my personality, which may be true for most writers and poets. As a beneficial part of the learning process, I required reflection in the classroom, of both my students, through various writing activities, and of myself, through journaling and documenting. I have even taught other teachers reflection practices in professional development classes.
Part of my reflection time this week was spent revisiting and pondering what I have written in this forum, since beginning this blog in the fall of 2019. It is not often that I sit and scroll through my previously published posts and doing so stirred a mixture of emotions, including joy and astonishment at how much I have written over the last two years and the courage I have gained at sharing my voice (and my love of dance), since my first blog post. My poems are like children – I nurture them, then I release them into the world and let them exist apart from me. Unlike raising my own child, nurturing poems lasts only a few days, sometimes only a few hours, and I do check on my daughter more than once a year or two years!
While reflecting on my two-year blog activity, a few posts stood out to me as deserving a follow-up mention. I am highlighting four previously written posts on this first day of 2022. Three of the four follow-ups highlight amazing people who continue to inspire me, and the other is a sweet story that shares part of this post’s title. If you have been reading me for a while, you might remember one or all these posts:
“Outward Change Reveals Inward Transformation” October 2019
One of my first posts, from October 2019, was a conversation that turned into an interview that turned into a story about one of my friends who I had recently learned was celebrating over a year of sobriety. I did not know drinking had taken control of her life, and among other things, my time with her reminded me how important it is to have meaningful conversations. We caught up a few days ago and I was thrilled to learn she is doing very well and is now celebrating over three and a half years of sobriety. I am so proud of her, and I am blessed to know her. I was and continue to be honored by her willingness to trust me with writing her story. She gave me her blessings to share this update.
“Thank you for caring, Teacher” September 2020
In the intro to this post, I wrote about a young man at my local market whose body does not look like most bodies. Despite any physical challenges he may face, he carries himself with confidence and professionalism and he is always a bright light in the market. I have seen him many times since I wrote that post. I continue to learn from him as he continues to show patience, kindness, and compassion toward others, including me at the self-check line. haha His personality and strong work ethic earned him a new position with added responsibility. I am proud of him too!
“Complimentary Jar” November 2020
A sweet fictional story written in poetic prose (w/audio) about a lady who learned to embrace compliments – writing them on tiny cards, and keeping them in glass jars through the years, until life brought her to a place where she needed to downsize and let go of many possessions, including the tiny notes. This story was inspired by my own journey of learning to accept compliments, rather than dismissing them. A relatable journey for many, as the comments revealed. A special poem for me, it found a place in the pages of my third Being a Woman poetry collection, subtitled Forthcoming. One of the jars, created for my post, resides on a counter next to my car keys, as a reminder to say thank you when complimented and yes, I do add to it on occasion.
“Life is a Mystery” November 2021
In a more recent post, I wrote about meeting a stranger who magically and coincidentally knows my all-time favorite teacher from my childhood. I hit a roadblock with outdated contact information, however, I do now know my teacher’s remarried last name and I found an address. I also have the “stranger’s” contact info, so I will continue my search after the holidays.
Whether you are reading my blog for the first time, since the beginning of my writing journey, or somewhere in between, please know I appreciate your time and support! Enjoy your day and may your 2022 bring you many wonderful moments to reflect on when this new year is done. Be well. 💗 Michele
Photos: My images taken while walking the trails during our rainy week. It was still raining last night! 🌦️ A week of rain in the Valley of the Sun. Notice the hot air balloons in the distance, in a few photos.
© 2021 Michele Lee Sefton