Tomorrow’s Yesterday

When I was a kid, May 1st was a day of connection.  We’d make little baskets and fill them with lilacs, popcorn, and candy, then deliver them to friends’ front doors.  It was a sweet way to remember close friends.  It’s not a practice we see around here.  And with social distancing in place, as we collectively navigate the COVID-19 world, door-to-door deliveries are limited to necessities.  As we move further into this experience I notice the children in my world are processing their feelings about being isolated from friends.  In general, they seem to be maintaining positive attitudes about it, even as the news that we won’t be returning to the Seed’s campus to finish our school year begins to sink in.  One of the third grade poets expressed her mixture of feelings:

I am
I am like a growing seed,
I am growing big and tall,
I am partly fragile,
I need a pot with others
to be happy.

Her description of herself “growing big and tall,” and at the same time “partly fragile,” is honest and heartfelt.  Her recognition that she needs “a pot with others to be happy,” says what many of us feel.  I noticed this past week that more and more of the children were able to identify their feelings about being away from each other.  One girl said she was like a statue that couldn’t move, and another described his life right now like a bear hibernating in a cave.  Another student said she was like a bullet, full of energy.  When I offered up the invitation to write a simile about themselves answering the question, “Who Am I?” it opened up a floodgate of images.  

As I listened to their responses, and later read their finished poems, I could see that my role in this ever-evolving situation is to keep connections alive and hold space for all the feelings, of both students and staff members.  

One of the practices I’ve kept up is to reach out via email every week to each Seed staff member.  I’ve also sent an email to the Seed’s grandparent community and heard back from several of them.  My work is to listen, offer encouragement, and simply be present.  It’s also a time to keep my eyes and heart wide open for metaphors of connection. While out on a hike last week, I noticed a tiny white flower growing up through huge grey rocks.  It was so small I was astonished that I even noticed it.  It took me by surprise and at the same time felt like a little message from the universe.  That tiny flower was all of us, finding a way to thrive through challenging difficult conditions.   

In the moments that lie ahead of us, I’ll continue to let the children I know guide my thinking and responses about connection.  I will listen to their wisdom as they, like the small white flower in the rocks, figure this all out.  With this in mind, I leave you with another poem by a third grader.  

Tomorrow’s Yesterday
I am like
the sun
waiting to see all the
people of the world
after awakening from the
spell of the moon
that has rained down
upon all of us giving
us beautiful dreams
about the fantasy
of tomorrow’s

Tomorrow’s yesterday is today. May we all discover what each today offers us, and use if for the benefit of all beings.