One Thing

Sipping my second cup of morning tea, I breathe in the solitude that nature dropped on my doorstep overnight:  great mounds of white, silently commanding the world to a halt.  The tea is extra sweet and warming when accompanied by the luxury of leisure time.

Shaking off the frayed edges of yesterday’s insanity, I contemplate a more relaxed day – some laundry that has needed tending to all week, a few hours of schoolwork, and maybe even an apple crumble.

The snow continues to fall outside my window, softly, without a sign of letting up and I rise from my last sip and stretch, lingering to revel in the majestic beauty of the landscape before me.

Yesterday, everything was chaos, or so it seemed.  The wind was howling and a cold sleet constantly beat against the windows, and indoors, the students were restless, hyper, inattentive, and I was short on patience.  There is always a multitude of things happening at any time in my room:  students writing tests, students working on past due assignments, students looking for refuge from out of control classrooms, and, of course, my own class.  My own class, who would not settle; could not settle, as it was Friday, and the weather report promised snow, and it is only a month to Christmas, and Do we really have to read?!   And as I hushed them for the third or fourth time, all hell broke loose as a face pressed up against our classroom window: the face of a missing member of my flock, not warm and contained in my room, but running wild outside with two other truants.

I sigh, and glance outside again at the marvel that is the first snowfall.  Untouched purity.  And I cozy inside.

The laundry is scattered about the house in various stages of completion.  Some sorted and ready  for washing, some wrinkled in the dryer awaiting rescue, and some folded in baskets wishing to be put away.  It is symbolic of my life, I realize, that nothing ever really gets completed.  The too many demands of my job eat away at my attention until there is nothing left to offer any one task, and so none of it is done properly, and I am left exhausted, and discontented, wondering if anything I do is of value.

Today, I will finish the laundry, and not leave any remnants, and I will clean up the kitchen, and bake that crumble, and get work done, because I can.  And I will feel the satisfaction that comes with being able to do one thing at a time:  the satisfaction of completing a task.

Thank goodness for Mother Nature’s intervention, and the subtle reminder to value the simple times.

If only I could bring this serenity into my everyday life.


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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

One thought on “One Thing”

  1. Reblogged this on One Woman's Quest II and commented:

    Before ME/CFS, I was a Learning Support Teacher, overseeing a three-room Resource center for students with special needs. It was hectic, always demanding, and I loved it. Four years later, I still dream about teaching, which was the inspiration for today’s poem: “A Call To Teach”. This post, originally penned in November of 2013, captures a day in the life of a teacher.


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