Last night the ginkgo trees lost their leaves. I love this moment.


Hello Friends,

Last night the ginkgo trees lost their leaves. I love this moment. It happens all at once. From one day to the next, almost all of the leaves detach and fall around the trunk of the tree like a golden blanket. During drop-off this morning, the sun hit our very own ginkgo tree, and it looked like it was dripping gold as the last few leaves fell.

As you know, tomorrow begins our Thanksgiving break. For many of us, holidays can be complicated. They can remind us of people we have lost. They can bring us into the company of relatives with dramatically different world views. They can provide an invitation to reflect on the history and traditions associated with how we celebrate. TNSM wishes you peace, compassion, and restoration.

One of my favorite thinkers in the education sector is Parker Palmer. I often go to his books and podcasts for inspiration. He recently posted a poem by Mary Oliver titled, Messenger, as a way to reflect on the spirit of gratitude as we enter the Thanksgiving holiday. The poem helps to remind us that our true work is “loving the world,” and keeping our minds “on what matters,” and “standing still and learning to be astonished,” and rejoicing and giving thanks.

Messenger – by Mary Oliver

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

Over the break I will be working on opening my heart and mind to be present and aware of life’s many blessings. There is a long list of what I am grateful for, but this community is toward the top! Thank you for your amazing children and all the kindness you pour into TNSM. Please be safe as you gather. We encourage our families to consider testing before returning to school on Nov. 29th if you have travelled extensively or gathered in large numbers. Thank you for your wisdom and caution as we continue to do everything we can to keep our community safe.

With gratitude,

(the photo shows a crown of maple leaves and the video shows a variety of leaves)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *