I was reading someone’s blog the other day (I don’t remember whose), and the blogger said something about “winter without Christmas.” I knew exactly what she meant; those cold, dreary, long days after the holidays, feeling like winter has nothing left to offer.
I was thinking about that, processing my feelings about the end of Christmas break, getting back into the routine, and my to-do list when I saw something that interrupted my thoughts.
It was the school crossing guard, all bundled up, blue eyes twinkling, greeting the children with a thumbs up and a smile.
He spoke something that I couldn’t hear from inside my car, but I was sure he was encouraging them to have a good day…welcoming them back to school.
Now, I’ve seen this crossing guard on duty many times, and while he is always sweet to the kids, this thumbs up was a little something extra. And, I think it’s because he knew.
He knew that the first day back after a long break is hard. He knew that many of the students would have a hard time embracing the return…getting back to the routine.
The scene put a smile in my heart.
And, as I continued home, something magical happened; the ordinary started to come to life. I marveled at the children boarding the school bus, and parents walking their children to school…
It reminded me of William Martin’s words in “Make the Ordinary Come Alive.”
Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is a way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples, and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.
And, so does this winter arrangement.
It’s beauty gives life and encouragement…much like a thumb’s up and a smile.
To make this DIY winter vase arrangement:
- Gather sticks and pinecones from outdoors.
- Pour some epsom salt into a clear vase.
- Tuck the pine cones into the salt.
- Then, arrange the sticks around the pine cones.
- Sprinkle a little more epsom salt to cover the pinecones.
See you in class,