Next to parents, teachers have the hardest job in the world. They’re underpaid, under appreciated and under valued. And before power was switched into the hands of child (a la the Salem Witch trials), they were held the most influence in a child’s development right after parents.
I’ve been blessed to have some amazing teachers. I remember them, they way they smiled, their senses of humor, and their outrage at injustice, along with the smell of chalk, new textbooks and the taste of crayons and glue.
But, I also remember that a few of the teachers I admired most almost made me never want to write again. Ever.
And it started with a poem by arguably America’s most famous poet (and my personal favorite) Robert Frost.
No, it’s not The Road Not Taken. Although that ranks up there. Snow reminds me of my favorite poem (although it rarely rains in the Valley of the Sun). And a few weeks ago, the poem returned on an episode of Elementary. Joan Watson gave it to Sherlock, she said it was a bit dark. My teacher said it was about suicide.
I didn’t agree with either. (And received a C on a paper, not a pleasant experience for a straight A student)
So what is my favorite poem? Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening. Read it here.
I don’t find it dark, I find it a lesson in life. To stop and commune with nature. To ignore our pressing chores to just exist in the moment. To take the time to just be because we won’t always be.
But to be told my interpretation was wrong and have it constantly reinforced, kept me from writing down all those stories in my head. Because if I was wrong about what words meant, how could I share the stories inside my head by painting word pictures?
So I only wrote sporadically for years. Until I stopped and watched the rain hit my windshield and fall on farm fields. The poem came back to me and I decided that my time was mine to spend and started writing again.
Folks still tell me I’m wrong.
That’s okay. My soul is dark and deep just like the woods in the poem. And I’m comfortable there:D