Finding a pathway even when one does not appear

Bird Droppings December 31, 2019
Finding a pathway even when one does not appear

 

The past week has all run sort of run together, although each was an interesting day in its own right. It may have been sitting and watching movies with the family after sharing gifts, eating all day long and then getting ready to head to North Carolina or South Georgia to visit family. But still while off from school for the next week I will try and get some writing done. I will try and mow grass not because it is time but because it is something I really missed while in a cast. We had a good rain several days back and then cold which is still howling outside my writing window even as I sip my hot tea they were joking when the weathermen said a cold front was following the spring of yesterday.


Weather permitting as I walk about looking for branches and rocks before I mow I might find the path where deer evidently come across our back-yard tracks etched in the dirt. A little over five years ago it was several neighborhood children who would walk across the back of our yard to their house behind ours in our previous house. Something I like far better being in the country side between Atlanta and Athens. I guess cutting through the woods behind our house saved them many footsteps I am sure over the entrance to the cul-de-sac which was several hundred yards further down the road. Now it is wildlife that short cut through our yard. We see daily many deer, owls, numerous kinds of birds, squirrels, an occasional wild turkey and red-tailed hawks sharing this corner of the county.


As I went our earlier I was thinking about that deer pathway and how each of us has our own pathway in life often skirting around the back of others and or just beyond view. Maybe that pathway is a short cut maybe it is the easiest route in a difficult situation and often it is simply the most practical.

 

“By identifying your true motivations and desires, it becomes easier to find direction in life. Now we know where your goals come from. What’s the root beneath your dreams? There are no right or wrong answers, just ideas at the core of you. We could probably analyze what in your past makes you want to become the things you put on your list. We could analyze how close you are to being all of the things you’ve listed. It’s not important. What matters is that now you know what it is you’re aspiring to become.” Skye Thomas, Tomorrow’s Edge, Finding Direction

 

Could it be so simple making a list of goals, or building a set of actions and plans which could be a road map of sorts for where we want to go. When I first went to college nearly fifty plus years ago I was aspiring to be a biology teacher. I did not teach biology till about seven years ago when I was officially certified to teach the subject. There were many shifts and changes along the way as I walked my own path. Several years ago, my oldest son took courses and was certified in GPS and would use it to mark tortoise nests and beetle infestations as part of his science projects in college. As technology advances now, each photo I take on my camera is GPS stamped and you can tell where that image is from. I find it amazing that we can tell where you are within a few feet anywhere on the globe with such accuracy. On my cell phone I have a navigation application to guide me wherever I program a location and I can drive the car listening to the voice from my phone and go right there. I have found that new road construction often is not on the navigation system but usually it is only off for a few miles or so and then it relocates and I can hopefully avoid stopping for directions with my male ego intact. But in life sometimes more is needed than what technology provides.

 

“Synchronicities are not flukes or random events. They’re intentional reflections of our intuition working with the perfect order of all things in the unseen world. Its why fish swim upstream, birds fly south and bears hibernate. Everything in nature intuitively gravitates toward what best serves its growth, and that includes the human race. The only difference is that we have the choice to follow our intuition or not.” Sonia Choquette, Trust Your Vibes, Finding Direction

 

A little new age thinking never hurts to start a morning. I do like this thought, often we choose intuitively to go in life a certain direction it may not be a quick choice but one over a period of time. In regards to myself the decision to return to teaching after nearly thirty years was not quickly made it came in series of events that culminated in a job at a local high school nearly ten years ago. As I think back even that specific job nearly fell through four times and on the fifth time it finally worked out. I often wonder why this school as I was not hired at six other schools since officially I was not certified. Why did this particular principal hire me and want me to work literally hiring me five times finally getting approval as a long-term substitute for a teacher who had a nervous breakdown. Amazingly enough as I look at my pathway perhaps it was not to be working with him as he was transferred a year later. I will say this after six plus years we are still good friends and communicate often.

 

“Being committed to some goal in your life – a sense of having a mission, a purpose, even a calling – is a very motivating, very comforting thing. Some people’s mission steps up to greet them; others have to hunt theirs down.” Sam Baker

 

After class the other day a teacher raised a question. “Are you where in life you are supposed to be?” Several of the teachers surrounding me thought for a minute and weren’t sure and then to me. For nearly twenty-four years as I searched I couldn’t answer that question. That day it is easy, I am exactly where I need to be and am supposed to be.

 

“Do the things you love to do and are passionate about, then you’ll have few regrets. Conspicuous success or public acknowledgement for these things may or may not come, but it won’t trouble you much either way because you’ll be happily enjoying yourself.” Sam Baker

 

The word passion seems to pop up a lot for me. Are we passionate about what we are doing? Are we passionate about our direction in life? I do believe it is true if you are passionate about what you are doing there will be few regrets. I learned that from the principal who hired me nearly twenty years ago as he was always passionate about what he was doing.

 

“What intrigues you? What questions about any aspect of life or the universe absolutely enthrall you? There’s your direction! Although we cannot map out our lives in advance, much can be done to make desirable outcomes more likely. Acquiring an exceptional ability is one such outcome.” Sir Bernard Cohen

 

Recently as I wrote about learning to lead as a progression of growing up and drifted into actually learning how to teach from a young age. I started to think I wonder if my own kids have learned such endeavors in their turn at life. I wonder if my mother and father realized that they through bits and pieces laid out to me they were directing me along a pathway in life.

 

“Your accomplishments will bring great pride and joy to your closest friends and family, but in the long run it will hurt all of you badly if you’ve done it only for them. You have to do things for the passion in your own heart.” Helen Fielding

 

I went into the high school over the holiday as I do most holidays to think and plan for the coming days and of course to feed critters. Some days it is just a bit of catch up and recently was an odd one I was cleaning up my school email. In my files I had over four thousand past emails so I was going through and deleting the ones that were not significant. I have a bad habit of saving emails. Working my way through several years of emails I was saving those that were specific about students and critical parent correspondence. I found several emails congratulating me on being named teacher of the year in our area by Sam’s club over five years ago. I still have the blue Wal-mart vest in my closet at school and a letter on the wall a quick reminder. One of my students had sent a letter to Wal-Mart it wasn’t something specific as to what I did but a letter of recommendation from a student and I was honored. As I thought I really did not do anything different for that student. She graduated several years ago and we still keep in touch every few weeks. I basically did as I do each day teach but I do it with passion and what is funny people see that when they are around you.


So, whatever you choose whatever pathway you go down do it with passion and truly you will never go wrong. It is funny how holidays affect us. I am working on reading and writing for a research paper and in the news, schools are trying to cope with how to better educate their students and pass tests. Another topic in the news was dealing with charitable competition during the holidays where instinctively many people try to give more than others, I often ask why just at holidays. I use the term loosely in harm’s way there are so many meanings. It may be children who are hungry and or abused, adults without work and struggling, many folks who are mentally ill and now on the streets as we found it prudent and fiscally responsible to close mental hospitals, and politically correct there are so many meanings to in harm’s way. A big one is our service men and women of course around the globe so as every day please dear friends keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts namaste.

My family and friends I do not say this lightly,
Mitakuye Oyasin
(We are all related)
bird

Teaching is ninety nine percent example

Bird Droppings December 30, 2019

Teaching is ninety nine percent example

 

I walked out a few minutes ago to get a bit of solitude. That has been hard over the holidays this year. So, it is coming in tiny increments a few moments here and there. I was watching a mass of clouds swirling over my head just as sunrise was attempting to break through. Deep grays, shades of white and patches of blue made for a surrealistic morning and the temperature still a t-shirt warmth clinging to the ground. I keep joking about doing cuttings of my angel trumpets and there are a few green buds along the ground in December although most have died back maybe four weeks ago. Perhaps in another year. My granddaughter and grandson went to Florida and we miss them, the house is quiet and peaceful and no one calling pop pop where are you walking through the house. But it made me think deeply this morning about how we impact our children and grandchildren.

 

“We taught our children by both example and instruction, but with an emphasis on example, because all learning is a dead language to one who gets it second hand.” Kent Nerburn, The Wisdom of the Native Americans

 

I have over the years looked to the wisdom contained in Kent Nerburn’s writings many times. I have given away many copies of his books and currently am reading for the third or fourth time Calm Surrender. I am amazed at how teachers seem to come to similar conclusions.  In a graduate school project, I used similar wording, we teach by example and using Dr. Laura Nolte’s words “children learn what they live” poster that I have on my wall. They learn not only subject matter but attitude and character from teachers as they observe and watch the ebb and flow of life about them.  Some teachers prefer to avoid this and are stiff and mechanical and avoid the relationships where character is learned. I always recall a student from years ago who came running up to a group of us and starting hugging her teachers till she got to one who folded her arms and said I do not do hugs. This student had been accepted to a very prestigious college on a full scholarship and a teacher publicly refused to provide any sort of emotional support.

 

‎“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.” Carl G Jung

 

I have been a Carl G. Jung fan for many years. As I was reading through several of his ideas earlier this morning I found that this thought stuck out. Perhaps it is being a grandpa and watching a little one absorbs every element around her. Perhaps it is as a father watching my sons now all grown each choosing pathways in life and wondering at times if we at least gave decent directions along the way. I am finding as I grow older it is the example we set that is the most powerful educational tool available. Better than any curriculum or text series, better than the greatest speaker, and much better than anything that can be planned for. It is about the warmth of our souls and passing this to our children and grandchildren.

 

“Knowledge was inherent in all things. The world was a library.” Luther Standing Bear 

 

“Learning how to learn is life’s most important skill.” Tony Buzan 

 

As so often happens when several educators get together the discussion on differing views and philosophies of education does come up and with me often at family gatherings as many of my immediate family are in education the topic will become education and learning. Several afternoons ago sitting in my mother in laws house we were talking about teaching and working with special needs children. In a society so filled with appliances and contrivances that aid us in doing every little detail sometimes we forget that simple things can aid in how to learn, how to study, and how to open our eyes to that which is around us.

 

“Learning hath gained most by those books by which the printers have lost.” Thomas Fuller

 

So much research has been done on learning and on how the mind works. Many are the great thinkers that have built entire schools of knowledge named after them based on ideas of learning. Developmentalists have written and been written about numerous other philosophies constructivism, modernism, and many other isms make it an interesting field.

 

“Learning is constructed by the learner and must be a social experience before it is a cognitive experience” Max Thompson, Learning Concepts

 

“Being ignorant is not so much a shame as being unwilling to learn.” Benjamin Franklin

 

We have to want to learn and I have found that apathy is a really hard part of our society today in education to deal with. So many students are apathetic toward life, learning, and even their own existence. It is difficult to learn if you chose not too and conversely it is ever more difficult to try and teach a person who chooses not to learn.

“Research shows that you begin learning in the womb and go right on learning until the moment you pass on. Your brain has a capacity for learning that is virtually limitless, which makes every human a potential genius.” Michael J. Gelb

 

Sitting in a group of students who deliberately chose to be ignorant is an interesting situation and I find myself often in that situation with the particular students I work with. Asking why is even more interesting.

 

“Whatever”

“What good is it?”

“Ain’t gonna do me no good outside of school”

 

These answers are always so eloquent and thought out that I am sometimes amazed. Students think about why they shouldn’t have to learn and they actually put effort into coming up with reasons why education is stupid and or not needed.

 

“The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer

 

Several years ago in YAHOO news, an article caught my attention and as I read I realized I too have used similar analogies. In some dictionaries McJob has been described as a meaningless job, a job with no direction and very little in requirements and McDonald’s has sued to have it removed stating that jobs at McDonalds are meaningful and do have direction. I do know of a young man who started working at McDonald’s and is in Business School now and owns his own Starbucks. Ray Kroc many years ago before he passed away got his start selling milkshake machines to restaurants when he met the McDonald brothers who had a restaurant selling hamburgers. Ray Kroc’s widow in her will did leave, one and a half billion dollars to charity all based on working in McDonald’s. Ray Kroc founded the McDonalds franchise with literally nothing but an idea and hard work. It was not apathy that built McDonalds and it was not ignorance and lack of learning that contributed. I often wonder if the self-empowered ignorance of modern man is boredom.

 

“Observation was certain to have its rewards. Interest wonder, admiration grew, and the fact was appreciated that life was more than mere human manifestations; it was expressed in a multitude of form. This appreciation enriched Lakota existence. Life was vivid and pulsing; nothing was causal and commonplace. The Indian – lived in every sense of the word – from his first to his last breath.” Chief Luther Standing Bear, Teton Sioux

 

Each day as I observe students and teachers existing for lack of a better word, I see people who often are not experiencing life. They are simply occupying space as I say. I use a testing tool in my room, the Miller Analogy Test which is used often in graduate school programs for entrance. I explained how difficult the test is and how some graduate schools and I had data showing scores for acceptance and I made it very clear this was hard. Within every class I do this with one or two heed my warnings and quit right off the bat several who actually have difficulty reading the test I will read the questions to. Some completed the test. The actual grades on recent semester report cards were very bad yet in a class where the average reading level is extremely low over half the class had scores of 30 or higher. Granted this was not a valid test in the manner I gave it and only for fun. However, imagine the self-esteem building when I explain several local universities use 30 as a minimum for acceptance into a Master’s program and 45 for their Specialists programs and I had three students go over a score of 45.

 

I am always amazed when challenges are thrown out how some people accept some dodge it and some quit. Earlier in my writing the passage from Kent Nerburn’s book The Wisdom of The Native Americans. “We taught our children by both example and instruction, but with an emphasis on example,…”, and as I thought back to my assignment of a test far beyond most capabilities they had taken the MAT it was in how it was approached no pressure applied you could or could not take it. I casually mentioned how hard and difficult but continually also mentioned I thought they could do it.

 

SUCCESS is more than simply doing something success is Seeing, Understanding, Commitment, Consideration, Education, and Satisfaction and of course Self. A simple concept but so difficult to teach when students have been beaten down all their educational lives and careers. Children Learn what they live is on my wall every day a giant black light poster from 1972. Keep all in harm’s way on your minds and in your hearts as our efforts to bring peace in the Middle East become more difficult with each moment it seems and above all always give thanks at the end of the day namaste.

 

My family and friends I do not say this lightly,
Mitakuye Oyasin
(We are all related)
bird

Where is the passion?

Bird Droppings December 28, 2019
Where is the passion?

 

I was sitting facing a rising sun thankful for a new day yesterday a few days past, the first sunlight in many mornings. It was ironic as I was sitting on an overturned five-gallon plastic bucket next to a small circle of smooth river rocks facing east, listening to mockingbird chattering away in the dawn light thinking about the day ahead and offering thanks prior to the day starting. Behind me to the west was a setting moon I had seen before the cloud cover swept in and totally covered it. I could still imagine it as the sun rose and moon set behind a cover of clouds. For my amazement reds and oranges were streaking the gray lines of morning. The ambient temperature was a bit cold and the local frog friends were not chirping in the morning air.

 

To my left a squirrel made its way through the hedge row of sumac, wild cherry trees and assorted brush always wary of our red-tailed hawk that hunts our backyard. My medicine circle of river stones is almost covered with pine needles. The sycamore trees leaves have all fallen and the white bark peeling offers interesting images in the morning faint light. Beside me to the right a young live oak is still green always it seems foregoing winter’s loss. As I watched in almost a trance the band of orange wanders into the day widening and stretching across the horizon. I often wonder how many others sit and watch the day being born. If only, my father used the term often in his teachings and I in mine. So I am being thankful to witness the wonder of this sunrise and to praise the day yet to come and in Cherokee Wa de (Skee).

 

As I begin to think about my writing today so many ideas and thoughts sitting beside in books and on the internet waiting to use ad expound on. Every day during school hours I hear the simple phrase from at least one student of, “I hate school” and matter of fact I usually hear it numerous times across the day. What I find amusing is that very seldom do you hear this in kindergarten or elementary school which is interesting. When and where does the attitude towards school change?

 

“How do preschool children, full of natural inquisitiveness and a passion for learning, turn into apathetic or angry teens with a profound dislike of school?” Robert L. Fried, The passionate Learner

 

I remember my own early grades although that is now nearly sixty years ago. I remember a second-grade teacher who inspired us. I recall a teacher who made each day amazing and made it special and you wanted to be there tomorrow to see what was next. But I also recall teachers who presented an image of a different sort one where we did not want to be in school where it was more fun to stay home and be “sick”. Recent reading of Henry David Thoreau added to Dana’s statement as Henry David Thoreau quit teaching to be a learner and found he was a far better teacher then.

 

“The real difficulty, the difficulty which has baffled the sages of all times, is rather this: how can we make our teaching so potent in the motional life of man, that its influence should withstand the pressure of the elemental psychic forces in the individual?” Albert Einstein

 

“Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.” John Cotton Dana

 

For a number of years, I had ended my emails with this thought from Einstein. Just the other day I mentioned to a fellow teacher Einstein was equally a philosopher as well a scientist and most never will take the time to see that side of him. So I come back to how can teachers bring the “passion” to their teaching as Robert Fried writes about? How can we make teaching so potent as Einstein states? I have come to find the past few weeks that teacher attitude is crucial to this process. It is not so much about approach as attitude. How a teacher interacts and responds to students in their class is far more important than the material taught. For if a teacher is not getting through to the students the material is inconsequential.

 

“The most important part of education,” once wrote William Ernest Hocking, the distinguished Harvard philosopher ‘is this instruction of a man in what he has inside of him.’” Sydney J. Harris

 

Artificially we draw out great schemes and plans and build a fabulous curriculum. In education classes teachers to be learn how to do lesson plans and study the ins and outs of lesson plans and learn various curriculum philosophical theories and rationales and get credits for this. This is a major portion of the structure of teaching teachers. State education departments have as an example in various Curriculum guidelines and standards which determines what content needs to be covered in this course or grade. Of course, in Georgia we even have the notorious End of Course Tests. I have seen teachers agonize over not covering the standards in the time given daily to meet demands of the test.

 

“WHEN most people think of the word “education,” they think of a pupil as a sort of animate sausage casing. Into this empty casing, the teachers are supposed to stuff ‘education.’” Sydney J. Harris

 

It is the teacher that teaches by stuffing that adds to the dilemma we face when we encounter students who do not care and are disinterested in school. I remember a teacher a year or so ago so frustrated because they could not cover from page 1 through 546 in the time given. This teacher was near a nervous breakdown and really what if those students were not able to get through the material what if they were functionally having difficulty? How and why should we teach beyond what they already do not know?

 

“But genuine education, as Socrates knew more than two thousand years ago, is not inserting the stuffing’s of information into a person, but rather eliciting knowledge from him; it is the drawing out of what is in the mind” Sydney J, Harris

 

How do we become the teacher who draws out rather than simply stuffs in?

“The man who can make hard things easy is the educator.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

“Those who know how to think need no teachers.” Mahatma Gandhi

 

“Teaching becomes more showing how to think and process than content. Education, to have any meaning beyond the purpose of creating well-informed dunces, must elicit from the pupil what is latent in every human being – the rules of reason, the inner knowledge of what is proper for men to be and do, the ability to sift evidence and come to conclusions that can generally be assented to by all open minds and warm hearts.” Sydney J. Harris

 

Over the past twenty years that I have come back to teaching I have found a hierarchy in teachers. There are three types of teachers it seems. There are parasites this is those who use such great statements as “this is my class room” and “you will respect me”. As we evolve if we do as teachers we become symbiotic this is where both the teacher and student are independent of each other yet need each other to coexist and teachers now say things like “How can I help you”. In any progression there is always room for growth for several years I thought this was where teaching’s endpoint was in a symbiotic relationship. However, I was sitting in a class and another idea, an epiphany hit me. Osmosis is taking down walls and then learning becomes as it should fluid, it moves and reacts in that fluid manner and both the teacher and student are learning and teaching in a reciprocating way. John Dewey talked about this over a hundred years ago and was considered progressive interestingly enough I should say sadly enough he still is considered progressive.

 

“Pupils are more like oysters than sausages. The job of teaching is not to stuff them and then seal them up, but to help them open and reveal the riches within. There are pearls in each of us, if only we knew how to cultivate them with ardor and persistence.” Sydney J. Harris

 

It is difficult to get to this point few colleges for teachers teach in this manner. Those that do are few and far between. In my educational travels I have met several University professors who believe this and teach this. Hopefully as the future rolls around more teachers will rise up and take notice how many students hate school and maybe try and do something. Sitting here on a beautiful morning in Georgia wondering about the day I am excited as questions flow in and new teachers ask for guidance. Please as the day rolls on keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and please always give thanks namaste.

 

My family and friends I do not say this lightly,
Mitakuye Oyasin
(We are all related)
bird

 

It is the small pieces that seriously matter

Bird Droppings December 22, 2019
It is the small pieces that seriously matter

“Until you can clearly see each piece of the puzzle you will never be able to understand the whole.” Frank Bird, grandfather, teacher and ponderer

I am sitting here on the last Sunday before Christmas in Between Georgia a long way from my birth place and even where I spent my youth in Pennsylvania. I have traveled many pathways, spiritually, educationally, emotionally and physically as I journeyed. It has been many years since a vision of a jig saw puzzle woke me from my sleep on my front porch in the middles of several hundred acres of pasture. Over the years I have used that image of puzzle pieces and using a puzzle in explaining life and its intricacies. My son added to my collection of ideas along the way nearly fifteen years ago with a line from an Aerosmith song. “Life is about the journey not the destination.” Steven Tyler and Aerosmith I went outside to run to the corner store for a new bottle of smart water. I am spoiled I enjoy bottled water over tap. No sunrise to chase today in the rain and soon a frantic trip to finish up Christmas shopping.

As I drove about for a few minutes several ideas kept hitting me in the head. I am still sore from my leg injury and subsequent soreness on my other side compensating for the other. Literally every day I hear from a person could be a former student, a total stranger who read something I have written, a friend I have not seen in fifty years, maybe a member of a group I am in on Facebook, a cohort member from graduate school offering a thank you for a thought I shared or idea given. It is not about major successes but the small one at a time pieces that often float by unnoticed.

I find as I listed my somewhat ambiguous titles with the quote above grandfather first and foremost that seemed just the right thing to do. As I sat back and pondered as I tend to do often it became the not only right thing but job number one for me now over my teaching, writing, and parenting. It is we as elders who provide wisdom and understanding even if in small ways to those who come after. In today’s hectic and our helter skelter world moments get lost just like pieces to the puzzle.

Today as I do every day please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and all give thanks namaste.

My family and friends I do not say this lightly,
Mitakuye Oyasin
(We are all related)
bird

Longing for the simplicity

Bird Droppings December 20, 2019
Longing for the simplicity

 

I was thinking back a few years around this time. My reading and writing was taking a beating with getting ready for the end of the semester, a trip to North Carolina for a new grandbaby, and driving my wife to and from work since she broke her foot. Of course, nothing would have stopped me going to see our grandbaby and or helping my wife out. I have so much gardening to do and a lot of research and reading and writing to work on. It is always that I find solace in my Indian readings and in their understanding of life and reality. Perhaps it is my great great grandmother’s influence that draws me to this and various other bits and pieces of my life’s journey along the way. The air is freezing today as I walked out to run to the store.

 

“For the Lakota there was no wilderness, because nature was not dangerous but hospitable, not forbidding but friendly, Lakota philosophy was healthy – free from fear and dogmatism. And here I find the great distinction between the faith of the Indian and the white man. Indian faith sought the harmony of man with his surroundings; the other sought the dominance of surroundings.” Chief Luther Standing Bear

 

After what seems like an eternity, two days of bench mark testing. In my county a supposed data point for students learning acquired. Teachers are on pins and needles and with many student’s semester grades in classes counting on a passing grade on the test tensions run high. Teachers in this county unfortunately are reviewed based on these tests. Interesting that failure rate is significant and we are told it’s not the test it is what is being taught.

 

The subject knowledge of students will be focused on their capability of taking a computerized test not truly on whether they know the material or not. “Teach to the test” is the mantra of education. Content not context is the rule of thumb in current political arenas. Our governor has been speaking after giving teacher a bonus cutting education funding again. We as a dominant society continually have to prove our worth, be it through conquest in olden days or testing as it seems now. A constant struggle to show we are the best.

 

“There is no ‘happiness index’ for the children in our public schools, and certainly not for children in the inner-city schools where happiness is probably the last thing on the minds of overly burdened state officials.” Jonathan Kozol, Letters to a young teacher

 

A good friend I used to co-teach used a combination of context and content and achieved very well with his students on the Biology EOC. His combination of hands on and relevant experiments in his biology class provide so much more than a cramming for the test that is done in many schools and in so many classes. Several times during the semester we would  bring in various animals from my room as we were studying or grab a beaker of algae water from my turtle tanks to exam under a microscope. I think as I read the quote from Jonathan Kozol I was thinking of Foxfire and kids wanting to be in classes and teachers that kids want to go see and classes they want to experience. Many the times, I will have kids walk in my room and ask what class do you teach I want this class. Although I am tired right now and my exuberance is exhausted as we wind down these last few days before the holidays I am still pondering next semester.

 

As I was getting ready to leave school a few years back a former student stuck his head in the door. “The room has not changed much”, as he peered around checking every nook and cranny and, in my room, there are many. We held a nice polite conversation catching up for several minutes and I was amazed while still hyper and fidgety he was calm. The inner anxiousness was gone. No one can ever say he is not hyper active but the sadness that permeated his days seems to be at least in a major way lifted. He was smiling from ear to ear and telling about college and a possibility of four A’s and art work he was working on including one of me holding my granddaughter. We walked over to see another teacher friend of his and talked the entire time catching up on five years he had been my student and a year now in college. A simple visit and my day was made. His photo hangs in my room one of him walking across the stage and the other showing his award from the state department of education for his award-winning essay a few years back. I have shared with many his poignant essay of getting ready to go to his brother’s funeral. In showing to hundreds of people many who did not know him always a tear is shed.

 

As we talked I shared with him a discussion with another visitor just before he arrived. She went to Spain and Italy for a spring semester to study abroad. Another favorite student although she was never in my class we talked often and we spent ten minutes recently discussing her trip. As I talked with her I mentioned seeing “the Pieta”, carved from marble by Michelangelo. In 1964 which was one of the rare visits out of the Vatican for this work of art when it was displayed at the New York’s World Fair. I waited in line nearly an hour to see this magnificent piece of work. As I walked by I explained my feeling to these two students visiting at different times. I felt warmth as if you were waiting for Mary in white marble to breath. I wanted to touch the hand of Christ to see it was soft rather than cold stone. I had never been moved by a piece of art work as much as this had touched me.

 

Somewhere along the line I have heard art, real art is when you can convey a tiny piece of what you felt and saw as you created the work. Not just show another version but allow an individual to see a portion of what the artist saw as the stone was chiseled away. It is said Michelangelo could see his work in the stone. The quarrymen would call for him as a particular piece of rock was unearthed and quarried. Some he rejected but when he chose a piece of marble the creation was not to make a something for others but to reveal what was in the marble. I thought back to my friend and his essay and how he conveyed a tiny portion of what he felt to everyone who read that story. Perhaps the reason he seems happier is that he has allowed us after so many years to understand a small bit of who he is and why. My morning is closing about me and there are many things to do to get ready for my grand baby’s arrival so please this holiday season keep all in harm’s way on you mind and, in your hearts, and to always give thanks namaste.

 

My family and friends I do not say this lightly,
Mitakuye Oyasin
(We are all related)
bird

 

Sometimes there is Risk

Bird Droppings December 19, 2019
Sometimes there is Risk

 

It has been nearly a year since I drove my wife to work and while heading back caught sight of a glorious sunrise beginning. By the time I got to the house I had a few minutes to run in side and get a decent camera and shoot some more photos. What a great end to a year. On another thought how more appropriate to end the year especially in light of our politicians and the impending impeachment and looking at risks and what is ahead for a new year. Risk is a driving force of who we are and why we are and what we do. How we take chances and avoid risk are defining pieces of our personality. Our willingness to take risk and avoid risk is what determines to what point in life we go and or attain.

 

“Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.” Lou Holtz

 

I think you could possibly argue numbers but Coach Holtz has a good point. Life is a combination of pieces sort of a tossed salad of sorts thrown together and the end result well that is what we live with. One thing however that Coach Holtz left out is what makes you respond the way you do.

 

“In my own experience, the period of greatest gain in knowledge and experience is the most difficult period in one’s life. …Through a difficult period, you can learn, you can develop inner strength, determination, and courage to face the problem.” Dalai Lama

 

We learn as we walk through life by experience how to respond to a given stimulus such as how to choose from choices presented. I often use the example of crossing a stream stepping rock to rock, as you step each time you see the stones, some are slick or wet, others covered in moss and slippery when you step on them. You learn to avoid certain situations in order to not fall in the stream. However, it may be a warm day and the fall is worth it since a cool dip may be worth the risk of a shorter journey across the stream.
As I sit writing I recall a term from many years ago in my industry days, Risk Management. In Risk Management Training an acronym has been used for many years in industry and it could apply in life, the four T’s.

 

1. Terminate the risk – do not do it avoid and or eliminate the risk: you do not need to cross the stream
2. Tolerate the risk – in crossing the stream there is a chance you may get wet you are willing to risk it
3. Treat the risk – build a bridge across the stream true a mighty storm may wash it away but in one hundred years there have not been any
4. Transfer the risk – let someone else cross for you or buy stream crossing insurance

 

I borrowed idea from my father Frank E Bird Jr. and his book Loss Control Management.

But unless you actually are involved you may never really know which way to go in terms of which T you will pick.

 

“Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” Warren Buffett

 

Life is about experience and the roads we take it is ours to choose and to make a mistake or succeed with.

 

“It is not the critic who counts. Not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strive valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause. Who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat?” Theodore Roosevelt

 

Take the day by the horns as the cowboys among us would say and try to do your best, carpe diem, and stride across the stream believe it is summer and you will not succumb to hypothermia if you do fall in and as always especially in these days of increasing violence in the middle east keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your heart and be sure to always give thanks namaste.

 

My family and friends I do not say this lightly,
Mitakuye Oyasin
(We are all related)
bird

Is there topsoil left midst an erosion of soul?

Bird Droppings December 18, 2019
Is there topsoil left midst an erosion of soul?

 

“To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.” Simone Weil

 

“The need for roots,” I saw this idea earlier as I web surfed thinking and pondering this morning or perhaps as I was scrolling through thoughts I had saved over the years along with all of my young herb plants sitting beside me near the window and the concept caught me, to be rooted. Out in the garage I have root stock from several medicinal plants I ordered that I need to get into soil soon along with seeds. In a world where family ties are eroding away faster than we can reconnect we find our roots need topsoil.

 

“There is a longing among the young of my nation to secure for themselves and their people the skills that will provide them with a sense of purpose and worth. They will be our new warriors.” Chief Dan George

 

I have been intrigued with students recently have had little or no concept of much more than grandpa and grandma if that. The idea that their relatives came from elsewhere and were not American is difficult to grasp. I am doing a substantial amount of work with The Foxfire concept and so much of that in its origin is based on roots in history and family. After several years of looking I found a copy of the Red Lake Chronicles, a history of the Red Lake Ojibwa reservation, edited by Dr. Kent Nerburn an author I do enjoy reading and whose focus has been Native Indian Spirituality.

 

“We have to hate our immediate predecessors to get free of their authority.” D.H. Lawrence

 

I noticed this idea from Lawrence and as I was thinking maybe this was a clue to not wanting to remember your roots, your past or your history but traditionally in many poor areas it is those family ties that keep these people going. In a discussion with a young man recently talking about a brother in jail again and sister in trouble maybe separating from roots is necessary at times. Yet is there a tie between Weil and Lawrence while nearly polar opposites. I could generalize and say people who are lost have few roots or few ties to their heritage and to traditions; they are not grounded or anchored in any way. The reasons for this could be to escape, to wanting to be away from or distant from as Lawrence advocates.

 

“What a man sows, that shall he and his relations reap.” Clarissa Graves

 

“Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do. With no relatives, no support, we’ve put it in an impossible situation.” Margaret Mead, noted anthropologist

 

Margaret Mead may have hit the nail on the head perhaps we as a society have been stripped away by our constant boxing up and categorizing. Maybe we have delineated the need for roots and tried to unsuccessfully replace it with little or nothing but the good of society. If we go back to talking about society and people and using the analogy I have of plants most plants without roots are parasitic. As I look out at how we have set up our world is this not maybe a good comparison we have set up for parasitism among people.

 

“The government is becoming the family of last resort.” Jerry Brown

 

Many years ago, in a tenth-grade literature class that would be about 1965, we read at that time a very controversial book by George Orwell, “1984”. Contained within the book the total elimination of family and the government become your “Big Brother”. You were part of a whole and only an insignificant part at that. Various sociological and philosophical experiments have come and gone that have literally tried to destroy family and traditions and roots. They have been always stripping away the top soil, laying bare to the hardpan of a man’s soul. But within it all still with some people persistence, vigor, and desire was still there.

 

“The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.” Confucius

 

This is not just a modern day issue, Confucius raised questions over two thousand years ago and used a simple word to explain, integrity. For Confucius it was the integrity of the home and perhaps this is the key to roots. Solid roots can be found in the integrity of a family and home. Is it possible to look at people and judge there character by their roots, by how they were raised, by their family, or by their genealogy much like reviewing the potential of a good horse or cow. Back in the day we used EPD’s to judge the quality or potential quality of a breeding animal. I used to know what that meant but specifically in cattle it is the performance data that has been gathered for generations many times and potential for that animal based on that gathered collected data to be a suitable parent given traits you are looking for.

 

“If Mr. Vincent Price were to be co-starred with Miss Bette Davis in a story by Mr. Edgar Allan Poe directed by Mr. Roger Corman, it could not fully express the pent-up violence and depravity of a single day in the life of the average family.” Quentin Crisp

 

As I look at ideas and concepts and even jokingly at EPD’s used with cattle I find there are answers. EPD’s work because someone cared enough to check to save the information and data. Interesting we care about our cattle and horses yet so often neglect our own kind. Daily I encounter families that put the fictional family depicted by Mr. Crisp to shame. Over the years situations that most authors have not conceived of on a daily basis I see in real life. I walked into a local convenience store and noticed a lady standing at the counter I had seen her at the high school arguing to a point of being removed from the school. She was giving the store attendant a hard time and I felt immediately she is not a happy camper. Most fiction has base in fact unfortunately I have found. So where do I go in this round about effort especially on as we head into so many various holidays for many.
We are faced daily trying to support people who are trying to grow and succeed with little grounding and often with little if any support. It may be a simple smile or handshake that keeps them going today maybe even a happy holiday greeting. It may be a hug or kind word or ear to listen. But take some time to share to care and keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and to always give thanks namaste.

 

My family and friends I do not say this lightly,
Mitakuye Oyasin
(We are all related)
bird

Understanding the symbols of life

Bird Droppings December 17, 2019
Understanding the symbols of life

 

“Symbols express and represent meaning. Meaning helps provide purpose and understanding in the lives of human beings. Indeed, to live without symbols is to experience existence far short of its full meaning. Ways of expressing and representing meaning include the symbol systems of mathematics, spoke and writing language and the arts.” The Sacred Tree
For several days I have been pondering this simple paragraph. It has bothered me in more than a spiritual way. What if a human being does not understand symbols sitting thinking in terms of education the inability to move through existence without understanding? I see this as a significant issue in education. We tend to facilitate achievement in a given subject not based on understanding but based on acknowledge of symbols not understood. I recall a comment from a math teacher as I questioned a certain problem. We do not need them to know why simply know this equation creates this graph. That was several years ago. Math curriculum and testing has become a joke in many parts of the country. Numbers of failures have increased. I started thinking especially in math if at an early age we simply want the correct answer and not why it is correct when the math becomes more difficult how will a student solve the problem without someone showing an answer. We are teaching math wrong was my corresponding thought. We need to go back and teach the symbols.
I more often than not find my discussion on a spiritual level more so than on an educational curriculum subject although the bulk of my education has been in curriculum and education. Understanding the symbols is a key component of understanding our existence and place in the world. This applies to reading to art, and to written language. Teach the symbols first when children can understand the symbols they can piece together the parts of the whole. Without the pieces the whole is insignificant. I watch students graduate frustrated because they know little of what has been taught. They have simply been doing the minimum to get to next level and the next and out of school. They are missing the pieces along the way and can never truly see the whole puzzle presented.
So today just a thought for more thought how do we really teach the symbols. Please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts as you proceed through this weed and weekend ahead and always give thanks namaste.
My family and friends I do not say this lightly,
Mitakuye Oyasin
(We are all related)
bird

 

It is about random acts of kindness

Bird Droppings December 16, 2019

It is about random acts of kindness

 

I was a bit earlier than I planned to get started this morning. I got up this morning and my son’s faithful dog decided I did not need to sleep any more. He was quick to run outside and then wanted right back in the house. It was close enough to four o’clock that I went ahead and got up did a bit of reading and thinking. I used to in previous days use have what I called the great skittles challenge. I would do up a rubric, word search, cross word puzzle something with vocabulary or material we have been going over and the first five or so would win a pack of skittles. One I liked a lot was a Secretariat skittle quiz.  I am a big fan of the great chestnut horse two times, American Jockey Club Horse of the year and with also a very good movie to his credit. Reviewing some horse facts it was 1948 when Citation won the previous Triple Crown and with Secretariat’s win at the Belmont, in a track record, that still stands Secretariat made his way into history.

 

Over the years the challenge changed and in order to support the FFA at my previous school I would get Chik Fila sandwiches from the FFA club on Fridays. I did make the challenge harder each week. One of my last challenges was a president challenge and each student had a different president to find information about. I recall I had a student get upset and that was the day teachers were evaluated by students and I am sure that fellow was my outlier. One thing that has amazed me in our hectic world is how many people forget there are others around. I read an earlier Facebook post from a student and the main theme was, how “does this help me”. I hear and feel that from many people, a very self-centered view of reality. I recently asked a student why she sent so much time on snap chat when it is fleeting gone in a few hours. She had no answer other than it was fun. I asked if it benefited anyone. No just me was her answer.

 

So, a crazy day for me getting started, sorting things out for school and testing this week and thinking about Secretariat. Last evening as I was getting ready to call it a night I went out on the back porch and listened in the dark. A pack of coyotes was having a concert. Actually it was beautiful listening to one take a lead and others join in. I made sure and turn on spot lights since it was maybe a hundred yards behind the house in a vacant field. But the underlying thought doing something nice for someone else continued to run through my thoughts.

 

“When you carry out acts of kindness you get a wonderful feeling inside. It is as though something inside your body responds and says, yes, this is how I ought to feel.” Rabbi Harold Kushner

 

When I first read this earlier I passed over it and read some from the Dalai Lama and a bit from Emerson. It has been some time since our hometown high school class website had started into the political realm, arguing and presenting issues and rationales for various and sundry campaigns and politicians. Looking back on former presidential candidates as I scanned through Yahoo news both sides hammered on the same nail in different directions perhaps. It was Maslow that said, “If all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail.”  I am amazed at how much material our politicians provide for late night comedy. They are literally providing material for Saturday night live and other satirists. A couple of years ago the mayor of Dearborn Michigan emailed Senate candidate Sharon Angle about her remarks that Muslims had taken over Dearborn and that it had been put under Shari Law and asked where was she getting her information.

 

“It is my belief that whereas the twentieth century has been a century of war and untold suffering, the twenty-first century should be one of peace and dialogue. As the continued advances in information technology make our world a truly global village, I believe there will come a time when war and armed conflict will be considered an            outdated and obsolete method of settling differences among nations and      communities.” His holiness the Dalai Lama

 

As I sit this morning aside reading news stories each more horrific than previous I got thinking back as I do. Many years ago I was a youth leader in Macon Georgia and one of the youth, a red haired young lady, gave me a Bible for my twenty third birthday gift. I still have that book and the handmade felt cover that is tattered and worn. I thought a few years back of calling the number in the back of that Bible and I called getting her mother. After a few minutes, nearly an hour of conversation, I found out my former student was living in Africa, her new adopted home working in the mission field not converting heathens but providing daily care. We so often pass over the good deeds for the more news worthy stories of war and violence. Millions have died in civil war and famine in Africa funny we do not hear about it maybe there is not enough of what we want there.

 

“The United States is not a nation to which peace is a necessity.” Grover Cleveland

 

“If you want to make peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.” Moshe Dayan

 

These two quotes present a contrast of sorts with a United States former president and an Israeli hero of war and also of peace.

 

“Think not forever of yourselves, O Chiefs, nor of your own generation. Think of continuing generations of our families, think of our grandchildren and of those yet    unborn, whose faces are coming from beneath the ground.” T. S. Eliot

 

So often we tend to be caught up in the now and forget one day all we do will be reflected in the faces and lives of our grandchildren. Perhaps as I get closer to retirement and old age although most of my students would say I am old it is hitting more close to home.  We get too immersed in today in selfish pursuits of wealth and power, wiping out an entire species, for profit, is fine. It is about destroying wilderness, to make a quick buck; it is fine leveling a country for fun and money. Some will say it is God’s will for man to have dominion over the earth. I find it interesting how native and primitive peoples revere the earth and want to protect it not exploit.

 

“Every kind of peaceful cooperation among men is primarily based on mutual trust and only secondarily on institutions such as courts of justice and police.” Albert Einstein

 

“When you’re finally up on the moon, looking back at the earth, all these differences and nationalistic traits are pretty well going to blend and you’re going to get a concept that maybe this is really one world and why the hell can’t we learn to live together like decent people?” Frank Borman

 

It has been many years since I was privileged to visit a high school 45 miles from here we always have preconceptions about what the children will be like, teachers and such as I talked to the journalism class, one of the girls made a statement that stuck with me, “What did you think we would be like”. A loaded question I really had not said a word and already being put in a corner, had someone already poisoned me to who they were or weren’t.  I had been to the same school a few days earlier for a band competition and was impressed. So I was very positive walking through the front door the band program had been very successful so maybe I was biased positively although from the tone of the girl’s voice, I think she was expecting a negative response. Now I had heard horror stories about this school. Interesting fact was, I used to know several administrators there and all I have heard was where they were going, not about where they had been. There were no previous administrators dragged through the mud, no excuses just here is where we will be. Positive goals and building up rather than tearing down. There was a lot of taking down walls and removing barriers between students and teachers, administration and teachers, and parents and the school. There is little difference in making peace in a high school and in the world the playing field is different but directions are similar.

 

“There never was a good war or a bad peace.” Benjamin Franklin

 

“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

 

I am sitting here thinking this morning after watching a beautiful sunset yesterday and a possible a glorious sunrise today and wondering where tomorrow will lead. Please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and remember to always give thanks namaste.

 

My family and friends I do not say this lightly,

Mitakuye Oyasin

(We are all related)

bird

A chill in the air but not in the heart

Bird Droppings December 15, 2019

A chill in the air but not in the heart

 

For several days the now we have been at or below freezing in the early mornings which totally silences the crickets and tree frogs who need an ambient temperature a bit warmer, maybe high fifties low sixties. So, for today my orchestra was silent as a near freeze not only permeated but encompassed our back yard and today was one of coldest of this year at the house. I keep recalling why I like Georgia it is supposed to be warmer. Last night I watched a couple of Christmas movies and I am looking forward to one or two more today. Walking through the house earlier today I could not get warm it seemed the cold was everywhere in the house. Now as I am sitting here writing it dawned on me I may have left the dampener open from a fire the night before in the chimney. However, over the years I have found warmth in reading and pondering as I call it. It seems I can always find the right words when I turn a page or two.

 

“A bizarre sensation pervades a relationship of pretense. No truth seems true. A simple morning’s greeting and response appear loaded with innuendo and fraught with implications. Each nicety becomes more sterile and each withdrawal more permanent.” Maya Angelou

 

As I move my thinking to students and people in general we balance our lives in a series of trust and distrust often a teeter totter or see saw effect. Often we become jaded and calloused through constant distrusting and soon we respond as Angelou indicates in a sterile manner. About once or twice a year I will pull my old guitar out and play. My fingers at first feel each string and after a while pain will tear through my finger tips from the pressure of strings on flesh. Eventually after several days I will callous my fingertips back. Rock legend has it perhaps even urban rock myth it should be called is that the late great guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughn during a concert super glued his calluses back on when his fingers began to bleed. As I read this first quote, we can become callous we can become sterile but much more is involved. I also sense a similar relationship to my own use of the Hindustani word namaste, both a sterile hello or goodbye for some and for others one of reverence and humility. It is in the eyes and ears of the receiver and the giver.

 

“Achievement brings its own anticlimax.” Maya Angelou

 

 “All great achievements require time.” Maya Angelou

 

Maya Angelou writes of paradox of achievement and anticlimax. As I sit and think achievement is an attainment of a goal and with that attainment is a realization of a new goal a new mountain to climb perhaps it is that awareness of the anticlimax and yes most definitely time is always a factor.

 

“All men are prepared to accomplish the incredible if their ideals are threatened.” Maya Angelou

 

Maybe most men are prepared would be better. There are many who will still sit on their posteriors. Sitting today reading Angelou’s thoughts is a series of how to and why’s. I have listened many times to Dr. Angelo read her works or discuss topics on talk shows. Her words while calming is twice as meaningful listening to her speak them. There was a passion about her spirit and soul.

 

“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” Maya Angelou

 

“Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.” Maya Angelou

 

“Children’s talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives.” Maya Angelou

 

She was philosopher, poet, writer, activist, educator, humanitarian, civil rights leader, and the list goes on but always children are at the center of Angelou’s thinking and thoughts. Any book that can form a habit of reading is good. What a powerful statement in a society that would ban many books in schools and libraries? While not on the news now periodically we have this or as in a nearby county once upon a time, putting disclaimer labels in science books. I often wonder how when opening a book and a label states what you read in this science book may or may not be true is a good way to start a science lesson.

 

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.” Maya Angelou

 

“Education helps one case cease being intimidated by strange situations.” Maya Angelou

 

Two words that seem to permeate Dr. Angelou’s writing are courage and education. These two words are constantly mentioned described and eluded to. Perhaps the explanation is in the first of the two statements above, “without courage you cannot practice any other virtue”. As I ponder, education requires courage it is that willingness to achieve to go beyond where you are it requires first courage to make that effort and then education to do it.

 

“I believe that every person is born with talent.” Maya Angelou

 

“If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform a million realities.” Maya Angelou

 

As I saw this I thought of two individuals far apart historically and in many ways yet similar, George Washington Carver and Bill Gates. Both men through vision and fantasy transformed our realities possibly beyond the actual dreams they originally had.  My morning would be totally different if not for these two men many of the items used in the kitchen reflect ideas from Dr. Carver and my laptop computer and internet use are directly related to Mr. Gates.

 

“If we lose love and self-respect for each other, this is how we finally die.” Maya Angelou

 

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” Maya Angelou

 

“If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.” Maya Angelou

 

We are the beginning and the end of the circle. How we live and interact with others continues and perpetuates the circle. I have never been able to understand why this is so hard for people in general to understand. We seem to be having greed as a human trait. How sad that is to inherently assume man is greedy by nature. Animals only keep what they need for survival. Man is the only creature that hordes and amasses wealth.

 

“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don’t be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning ‘Good morning’ at total strangers.” Maya Angelou

 

Caring and concern begins at home and then spreads out from there. It is not about the face you put on when you need to but that which you truly carry in your heart and live and breathe daily. I enjoy Dr. Maya Angelou’s words. The few times I have watched her on TV and in reading her books that are in my own library. She is a person of concern and of caring. She is trying to do her part in her corner of the world for all of humanity. It is for each of us to try and do likewise where we are in the world.

 

“My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.” Maya Angelou

 

So I end another morning as I have now for some time till everyone listens to Dr. Angelou’s thoughts that ring in my heart today let me repeat this last quote one more time.

 

“My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.” Maya Angelou

 

It brings tears to my eyes as I sit knowing I need to continue ending my daily meanderings as I have for so many years, please keep all in harm’s way on your mind  and in your hearts and be sure to always give thanks namaste.

 

 

My family and friends I do not say this lightly,

Mitakuye Oyasin

(We are all related)

bird