Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Souls' Day

Today, as I do every November 1, my class and I sat quietly remembering people and pets we have known and loved who have died and left us behind to remember them. It is a quiet, reverent way to start the day after the excitement of Hallowe'en.

I had a picture of my friend's son, Michael, and their dog, Diesel. I lit a candle for them and also for my friend, Lorraine, who died of breast cancer last December. We took turns going to the front of the room and lighting a candle and speaking the name of the person who had crossed the threshold - those who have led the way for us back to our spiritual home.

It was moving, as it is every year, but even more so watching these 13 and 14 year olds standing up, lighting a candle and speaking the name of a loved one, or loved ones.

It was powerful. Everyone spoke. Some spoke twice. Powerful.

And then, after a half hour or so they were back to being 13/14 and talking about silly stuff, chatting while they worked, while I marked, while we continued on with our lives.

For our lives continue. In the face of loss and grief it continues. We laugh, cry, fight, eat, fuss, and generally carry on. We carry on.

I love this class. Even though I was cranky today, for a number of work-related reasons, I hung out amidst their noise and bustle, because I love them.

I realized tonight that my first class, the one I had for 4 1/2 years was really just the preparation for this class. This class: seven of whom I have had since grade one, two since grade three,one since grade four, two since grade five, and one since grade six. Four boys and nine girls - I have taken to sitting the boys, one in each corner of the desks arrangement - it brings balance to the classroom. Sometimes they retreat to their corners, sometimes I send them there. I feel like a referee at a boxing match - go to your corners!

Anyways, it's fun. Noisy, and fun. We are in a Physics block right now learning the laws of fluid mechanics. It is helpful to learn these laws. They seem to settle us. They are constant. When unpredictable things happen - when young men and women die - I can fall back on the laws of Physics to get grounded.

Physics is something I can count on.

My love for this class is something I can count on.

To Michael, and Lorraine, and all the other souls that passed this year - I wish you godspeed, and I promise to remember.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for honouring Michael and Diesel in this way. It means so much to me and my family.


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