In case you’re just joining us– you’ll want to go read last Monday’s email, so you can get in on the birthday gift action. Friday is my birthday and I’m giving presents to you.
If you know what’s going on already, and want to go straight to sharing your own story– you can go here.
Okay, so we’ve talked about all the reasons to share your stories– I thought I’d put that in to practice and share a few stories with you. Plus, I’m guessing you might want to know a little about this painting that I keep showing you.
Last week, I sorted through my rock collection and chose 36 of my favorites. Which actually means I chose 34 rocks, one piece of sea glass and one small hunk of metal.
Each rock has a small note on it in silver pen to remind me of its origin. The sea glass and the metal require relying on my own memory, since the silver pen wore off.
Each of these stones holds a story for me.
The small red one in the middle is from a park in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. It was fall 2004, our school on board the ship was hopelessly understaffed and I was teaching eight classes of art, four classes of History, six classes of English, and most disastrously one class of 7th grade Math. If I was teaching Math, you know we were desperate.
On top of all this, I’d just been appointed vice-principal, and that came with more responsibility. I was feeling overwhelmed and exhausted one afternoon about six weeks in to the school year, so I went outside with my journal and walked over to the park near the port.
I sat under a tree and wrote. Somehow, writing it all down made it less overwhelming. The sun was setting, and I was late for dinner, but I felt relieved and unburdened. That little red pebble was on the ground under the tree and I picked it up and rubbed in with my finger.
It sat on my desk for the rest of the school year and even now when I hold it I immediately remember the sense of relief I felt sitting under that tree.
(Bonus square! I painted two today!)