Tread Lightly With Wonder
edited: Saturday, February 14, 2004
By Carol M Chapman
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Saturday, February 14, 2004
Become a Fan
The future is safe in their hands
The phone call took me by surprise. “Hi Carol, this is Deborah Rashell. We met at the Horse’s Christmas Tree, and I bought your book. Do you remember me?” My mind slipped back to that glorious tree and all the wonderful people gathered to celebrate the existence of horses in our lives. Wrinkling my head in a vain attempt to recapture her name, I started to tap dance around a guess when I remembered a small, vibrant woman with the light of purity dancing in her eyes and the deep respect that trembled in her voice as she talked of her students. I inquired, and yes, I had put the name with the face correctly. A small miracle for me. I can recite the names of fifteen different brown horses, picking each out by subtle tones, yet people and their names seem to head in opposite directions for me. This woman was different, there was a touch of unearthly presence to her, she exuded joy and belief in profound waves around her that embedded “Deborah” into even my thick head.
She wanted me to come speak to her class; they had read some of my book and wanted to meet an author. She shyly offered that they were studying about horse rescue, some had horses, all of them loved horses, and they had raised money to be donated to Habitat For Horses. How could I refuse? “It would be an honor” I said and made plans to come. She gave me their names and I carefully made up certificates to present to them. They had given of their time and energy to help feed horses, their teacher had a touch of the fey in her voice and they were also young writers, it was going to be a fun afternoon.
The appointed day came and I left work at noon to head on over to the school. It’s a small elementary school in a rural town not too far from where I live. Dallas wasn't filmed in this part of Texas; we have no mansions in our towns. The schools feature more creativity than cash in their funding and it is always a wonder over what they can do with a limited budget. This school was no exception, paper trees spanned walls, bulletin boards dripped artwork and stories, loving hands created wonder everywhere I turned. Small treasures, great dreams, young children wearing Dalmatian ears sitting in rapt awe before Disney’s 101 Dalmatians on screen, hushed voices sharing knowledge, it was a vision of learning for joy that unfolded before me. I was now a bit nervous as I walked to the classroom, with so much already offered these students, what could my humble stories mean in comparison? My knees shook a bit as I opened the door and went in.
Sprawled around were a gaggle of young coltish forms, faces blazing with joy and unconsciously articulated limbs moving in the storm of their greetings. A small, neat woman created bird forms of movement with her hands as she interpreted my speech into visual flows of beauty for a few intently gazing ones sitting up front. She translated my words into ballet, and their eyes danced with appreciation for her deft skill.
I was immediately inundated with welcomes, hands raised to touch my hair; hugs wrapped me in warmth, so much energy of good will strangely entwined in a sense of peace and contentment. The dichotomy of the room’s dynamics felt like a hot fudge sundae, cool intellect smothered under heated sweet emotions topped by the perfect teacher’s smile. I wish I’d had a bushel of apples to offer Deborah; she deserved that and more. This room was the melting pot of the future, and it was sweet to see and feel. I wanted to dance the joy of opportunities, to sing the glories of possibilities; all were there in this space, within these students. I faced future writers, apprentice teachers, beginning mathematicians, coming leaders; all were raising their hands and asking me eager questions. I wanted to drop to my knees and gather them all close, pat their shiny hair, gaze into their glistening eyes, and hug that room of wonder deep into my heart and memory.
The questions and eager inquires flew through my mind, answers tripped from my tongue. I was infected with their sense of “having to know” and fevered by their rush toward knowledge and action. They are the safety net for my beloved babies; they are the winds of change that will restore peace to the peaceable kingdom. The hardened purpose behind their desire to keep animals safe humbled me. There is no gray in their eyes, right is right and wrong is wrong. They have not been infected by the world’s rationales or deluded into believing that things can be half right and not worth looking further at. They feel pain and joy with fresh nerves and respond deeply to both. Angels sit beside them and they feel the rush of wings. The world is going to be shaped by these young hands. Their future creations are hinted at in their current stories and poems, masterpieces are coming.
They took me to see their bulletin board of stories and poems. I almost gasped over that glimpse of tomorrow offered by these young artists. The beauty flowing from their words underscored the importance of who they are and what they represent. Tomorrow is safe in their hands; today is better for having them here. The very floor of the classroom was littered with unseen dreams. As I turned to leave, I felt myself tread lightly with wonder.
© Carol M Chapman
Web Site: Goforth Elemetary School
Want to review or comment on this article?
Click here to login!
Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!
|Reviewed by Jackie Brooks
|Lovely experience to see the joy and innocence of children. I go into a primary school each week for a different reason and it is great to see the children happy and learning. Jackie <> <|
|Reviewed by Eddie Thompson
|These experiences bring joy and hope to others who may have grown a bit cynical conerning this generation. Thanks for the contribution.|
|Reviewed by Rene Swing
|I really enjoyed this story. Yes I am the Rene' that Ed Matlack speaks so highly of. It is so nice to meet a "special person" like yourself, who has a special place in her heart for horses!|
|Reviewed by Kate Clifford
|Thank you for sharing with us such a wonderful loving, warm experience. This is no greater joy, in my mind, then being able to be fortunte enough to be in a room full of children wanting to learn! I briefly had this experience and it has stayed with me for life. Thank you for bringing your experience, for us, the readers.|
|Reviewed by Ed Matlack
|I know well your plight with remembering faces, I seem to remember guys names, but when it comes to women, I lose my mind, LOL!
Carol, that paragraph, the next to the last with the statement,
"Angels sit beside them and they feel the rush of wings."
That has got to be the best regarding kids, its almost as if you can see the angels right next to them, and see their wonderment in their eyes, hopefully they will NEVER lose that childish wonder, but alas, with the world as it is today, well, we can only hope!
This story, as with all your lovely wonderful bright stories is just the best, I love to read it, my feet were getting cold and I couldnt get up to go get my slippers cause I wanted to finish reading it, my dog was outside saying I am done my self walk and want to come it and he had to wait for me to finish reading this...you are a breath of fresh air in a world of pollution and toxic waste...please stay that way! Peace thru Writing, Ed & Rufuz
PS: We got a new horse, well Rene did, her uncle bought her a baby filly, not old enough to be weened off of her mommy, she is a quarterhorse, Rene seems to think she will be big enough to let me ride her, I always thought of myself as a kinda 3/4 horse kinda guy, don't want to hurt her, I am not light in other words. When and if I ever get a picture, I will post it with one of my stories involving her, we have yet to name her, as we are letting her name herself, you know how that is...!? ED
|Reviewed by George Carroll
|they are the winds of change that will restore peace to the peaceable kingdom.
The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow both in thought and how they look at the world of man and animals. You have sown the seeds in their minds to care for the forgotten.