I am travelling the country, stopping in towns where tragedies have occurred and visiting the local high schools where I recruit teens to start up volunteer work; doing good to right the wrongs their communities have suffered.
At some point in the dream, I wake up, and conscious of the theme of the dream, think about my own high school students and the community we live in. I think of a senior student, who suffers from ongoing depression and anxiety, yet gets involved with her peers and focuses on helping others. Recently, a piece of her writing was published and she was nominated for an award.
The topic of today’s reflection is milestones, and when I look at my granddaughters I see how each step in their progress is monumentous: a celebration. And yet at some point in our lives, the milestones become less about the miracle of growth and more about the passage of time – or in my case, a reminder of the end of time.
I was asked recently to speak at another School Board, several hours from home. Given my recent health status, it seemed logical to turn it down, but something inside me stubbornly refused to decline. The dream says it all. No matter what the catastrophe we have suffered, we need a purpose to keep going.
As a teacher, I strive to see the good in each and every one of my students, and focus on that, not ignoring their challenges, but offering a steady perspective of possibility.
At this stage of my life, I need to offer myself the same and mark this milestone in my life as a time ripe with potential and not an ending.