Monday, July 28, 2008

Saturday's "Time Out"

It was an interesting Saturday…. wherever I looked, it seemed as if there were lessons to be gathered.

I became reacquainted with an old friend – a delightful book by Phillip Done entitled 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny. If you’ve ever taught early elementary (oh, perhaps up to fourth grade), there’s nothing in this book that you haven’t heard at least once! What a true ear Done has for the authentic dialogue and rip-roaring humor that catches a teacher off-guard when s/he least expects it. It’s a joyful book and reminds me – again – why I work with kids.

Saturday night, my husband and I had the pleasure of attending a house concert sponsored by a friend of ours. The guest artist was Steve Eulberg, who delighted us with his instrumental and vocal compositions. Steve played guitar, mountain dulcimers and – a real treat – a hammered dulcimer with tones so rich they resonated in your mind long after the strings stopped vibrating. Two of Steve’s songs spoke to me.

He opened the evening with a tune called “A Ship May Be Safe.”

A ship may be safe in a harbor/at anchor close to the shore;
yeah, a ship may be safe in a harbor / but that ain’t what ships were made for.

Ships were made for sailin’ across the high seas
More ships and sailors rot in the port
than ever are drowned in the sea. (2x)

Made me think: how often do I go for the safe and predictable instead of being willing to try something new? Change doesn’t come without risk – but without change and growth, we (I) atrophy.

And later Steve and our host sang a wonderful song entitled “We Are An Answer to Prayer” which addresses the question: what if our prayers to survive the current struggles actually send our descendants into the future to pull us through? The harmony was exquisite – the words provocative. It reminded me of Doug Cotler’s song (Standing on the Shoulders) with the phrase “I’m standing on the shoulders of the ones who came before me.”

Both Steve’s song and Doug’s evoke the sense of interconnectedness – l’dor v’dor/from generation to generation.

The torah of Phillip Done and Steve Eulberg challenged me, refreshed me – and brought a sense of wonder and gratitude into my life. What a wonderful Shabbat!

No comments: