Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Slice of Life: #TeachersWrite

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for saving me a spot
in this amazing community of writers. It's been awhile...

Thank you also to Kate Messner for the annual #TeachersWrite...event? ...challenge? ...encouragement.

The topic for this first week is Reflect. 
"...think about a time when you were growing up and you felt peaceful and whole."
It's wiltingly hot today in Ohio. Hot like nothing I experienced growing up in arid Eastern Colorado. As a teen, I sat in the glaring heat on a lifeguard stand above a blue-as-the-sky swimming pool. For 45 minutes at a time, I scanned swimmers, counted heads, and shouted the occasional, "DON'T RUN!" I was in a zone. It was some kind of chlorine- and Coppertone-scented Zen. It was my identity. I knew exactly who I was and how to do the work (if you can call it that).

In today's muggy haze, I entered a different kind of Zen in the garden. It was a dirt- and green-scented Zen as I dug the invasive spiderwort out of the spot between the Japanese iris (long done blooming) and the day lilies (just putting up buds). Luckily, I was mostly in the shade, and also luckily, the mosquitoes weren't attacking. Gardening is one part of my grownup identity, and I'm as glad for the air conditioning and the shower as I was back then for a quick dip in the pool during rest period.


  1. Anonymous1:43 PM

    You just reminded me of Kate Messner's event. I need to get on that. I enjoyed reading your past peace and your current peace. This will have me thinking for the rest of the day.

  2. I like your plan, Mary Lee and your your teenage humor. Stay cool. My flowers have either been eaten by the jackrabbit or attacked by the sun. It's the plight of a heatwave but there are some things to still be grateful for.

  3. Love the idea of Coppertone-scented Zen..gosh, so many memories attached to that fragrance. Plunges me back to my childhood. And - someday I hope to visit cool(er) Colorado. So many compelling images, Mary Lee!

  4. I love your memory and how it connects to today. I've often talked to students about stories we can find in place...but I'm not sure I talk much about stories we can find in the weather. I'm fascinated by this! Thanks for sharing. I'm glad you are part of Teachers Write this year. :)

  5. Mary Lee, I love the two outside, peaceful and whole yous juxtaposed here in this piece. Lovely!

  6. Mary Lee. First, I had no idea yo've been away from SOL because you've continued to comment on my posts. I am so grateful for that. These lines resonated in your post today, "I was in a zone. It was some kind of chlorine- and Coppertone-scented Zen." I am also a gardener and love that break you get as you go inside for a shower, cool-air or, coffee (I like to garden in the morning). Your idea of looking back on a job you held as a teen is intriguing. I'll have to think about sharing my own experience.

  7. I love how you paralleled the lifeguarding Zen to gardening Zen. Our lives change but finding peace in a space that we know is always comforting.


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