Friday, May 11, 2012

mellow yellow

Every Monday through Friday I walk across the blacktop to my classroom, and then back again to the staff lounge, without much thought about the plants that are sprinkled around the elementary school where I work. 

Until one day. I did notice. Really stopped and looked. And I thought about the yellow tree that stands tall in front of the office, and wondered why I never really looked at it before, amongst the site's structured building.

It was one afternoon, after locking up my classroom, and walking slowly across the blacktop toward my car, to the back of the school that, for whatever reason, I noticed the yellow tree. Where it has always been. Yet, not truly noticed. Until that moment. As it stood there, seemingly protecting the place. And absorbing daily rituals transpiring around the school; ingraining those rituals into its branches, the leaves, the trunk, and the roots that sunk deep into the soil.

There are so many if only this tree could talk stories.
Stories about:
the shy kid who found his voice
the eager pupil excited about Honor Roll
the playfulness between friends
  happiness that abounds when good things happen
the anger felt when one boy reacts to another's bad judgement 
loud crying when a sensitive girl falls, scraping her knees 
screaming for the thrill of it
the competition during a soccer match 
compassion observed when a group of girls help their friend when she's feeling sad 
the willfulness of the boy wanting to be heard
the helping hands students provide  
how learning happens while children are interacting 
fidgeting during a long, sun-soaked assembly 
the reason that the kids are eating outside
the pupil who prefers to read in the shade, instead of playing 
the content young girl who sings as she's walking along
sharing advice with the new kid 
children hugging each other
how the drinking fountain provides a place to socialize
the jump roping girls and boys 
the kid who shouldn't be, but is climbing the backstop on the baseball field 
about how digging can seem so important for some kids 
the decorations hanging throughout, to celebrate success 
the whoop! whoop! from the winning team
how great it feels to be doing the right thing
how proud students are

One day, after many days of quietly saying hello and goodbye to the yellow tree, I noticed that it had lost all its color. The yellow leaves had fallen off, allowing nature to take it's course. Leaving a darker version in its wake.

Until one day, when those yellow leave will once again bloom.
All the while, that tree stands tall.
As if protecting the place.

Regardless of its color.

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