Tag Archives: moments

With My Head in the Clouds: SOLC 2019 Day 18

Some days I find myself with my head in the clouds, my mind floating on thoughts of projects to be done, problems to solve, reflections on what happened before.  Like a helium balloon, I float on the air currents, directed by my inner monologue.  When my head is in the clouds I risk missing what is right in front of me.

Like most Mondays, today was a day for laying groundwork for the rest of the week.  The hours pass like minutes, the minutes like seconds and time rushes through my fingers like a waterfall…not stopping to pool at my feet as it disappears, just out of reach.  I get into the hurry up mode, chasing time ideals set in my plan book.  I get impatient with my students, wanting more from them as I feel the pinch of time.  Trying to find the perfect ratio of time to learning.

When the bell rang ending our afternoon recess, I headed out the classroom door to pick up my students from the playground.  My head was already running through all we would accomplish while still leaving time to clean up, pack up, and gather before dispersing at the dismissal bell.  Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a lizard, sitting on the sidewalk, soaking up the energy and warmth of this amazing almost-spring day.  I almost rushed by–feeling the tug of time.  But instead, I stopped.  I watched and noticed.  I crept closer, wondering if I would capture an image of this grounded creature.  I snapped from afar, then crept closer.  The lizard seemed to keep an eye on me, unwilling to relinquish the warmth coming up from the sidewalk and down from the sun.


That lizard reminded me to take a breath and appreciate the moment.  And also to remember to appreciate all those moments that students need…to tell the seemingly unrelated story in the middle of my lesson, to ask question after question–and then the same question again, to need directions…again…and my patience and encouragement, even when I feel like my own well has been emptied.  I need to spread my toes and grip the ground, feel the earth beneath me grounding me, giving energy and reminding me to use those roots to connect and grow and to support my students as they connect and grow too.

I guess I have another ratio to work out…the ratio of head in the clouds to feet on the ground!



Weekly Photo Challenge: Moments

One of my favorite things about taking photos is that even without my camera in hand, the act of photography helps me pay attention to moments.  I find myself looking for light, looking for expressions, looking for color…and that moment of time that the click of the shutter freezes.

Not every photo comes out as an amazing work of art, but even the “failed” images teach me something.  Sometimes I learn about photography, sometimes about light and shadow, and frequently I learn about patience…and about seizing the moment when I have the chance.

Last weekend my husband ran in the Carlsbad 5000, a race of a bit over three miles through the streets of the village of Carlsbad.  It’s a beautiful setting, not far front the sea.  There were lots of runners, very early in the morning, going through their own pre-race routines.  As the start neared, I walked to the front where the fastest runners were poised for the start, the morning sunshine pouring in behind them.


After watching my husband go by (not near the front…he’s a recreational runner, not a racer), I walked toward the finish line where I could watch runners as they had completed the course.  It was fun to watch the fastest of the runners who seemed to have sprinted from start to finish (this was the over 40 men’s race), finishing in just over 15 minutes.  And I think it’s fun that racers get to take home a medal for their participation, a reminder of the moments of the race.  (My husband had a respectable finish, one that he was pleased with, and that’s a fun moment too!)


Sometimes when my week is busy, I forget to appreciate the little things, blaming no time as my excuse.  But I took time on Tuesday to stop to watch the sun set.  I guess my late meeting was a bit of a blessing, bringing me near home as the sun was dipping into the ocean.  I pulled off the freeway and found a parking spot near Torrey Pines State Beach just in time to watch the sun as it set behind the lifeguard tower.  The colors were pretty, the wind cool on my cheeks, and the white noise of the waves washed worries to the side.  I did enhance the colors with a filter, bringing the vibrance and energy of the sunset to the forefront of the image.


And on the day that going anywhere other than straight home just seemed too much of a chore, I remembered that I needed to turn the sprinklers on in the back yard.  I ducked in for my camera and when I came back out I noticed the bees around the lavender.  I crouched, patiently waiting for the bees to come into my shot.  I love the way the light sits in the background while the flower and bee are more shaded.  I also love the moment of action, the bee frozen midair.


Somedays I’m glad to have a bit of sunshine indoors…like these yellow tulips in a vase on my dining room table.  Trader Joe’s offers such a nice assortment of not-too-pricy cut flowers that I feel like I can splurge and bring into the house pretty regularly.  On this day I was able to catch the moment when the afternoon sun shined on the table, illuminating the sturdy yellow blossoms.


What moments will you catch as you slow down with your camera in hand?  Look carefully, perhaps even staying still for a few minutes to notice all that is happening in your view.

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #moments for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

Set off in search of some moments…and share them with the rest of us!


Savoring Moments

As much as I love my job, these last few days of summer vacation have flown by much too quickly.  I’ll still be in the amazing place that I call home…and have opportunities to walk on the beach, appreciate the natural beauty around me, and watch so many interesting people.  What I won’t have though, is the unstructured time with few expectations that allows me to unwind and relax.

But…what I’ve been learning over the last year is the importance of creating mini-adventures on a regular basis–to keep me from working all the time and to make spaces for play and exploration, as well as opportunities to connect and build relationships with the people I love.  And I’ve learned that taking time to play prepares me for work…and the focus on learning that I need in the classroom.

School starts tomorrow…and I’m excited to reconnect with our second and third grade students…and meet our new first graders!  And I consciously made a choice not to work today.  Instead, my husband took the day off work and we headed out on a local adventure.

I’m not sure why I have never visited Balboa Island in Newport Beach before…what a gem!  (And a Monday in late August was a great choice–light traffic and beautiful weather!)  A scenic drive up the PCH led us to the Balboa Island Ferry.  Only three cars can fit on ferry at a time…and when we arrived we were the only car, joined by some boys on bicycles, to cross over to the island. (This picture is the ferry bringing people from the other side as we crossed.)  I loved the short ride on this small ferry–it was fun to take pictures, feel the sea breeze, and feel transported back in time on this low tech feeling vehicle.


And then we headed out to walk along the shoreline…and found this gorgeous expanse of beach.  Sand and sun and waves–my favorite combination.  We walked and walked and walked, soaking in the beauty and the calm that only the ocean can bring.


And I’m ready to head back to work tomorrow, looking forward to the energy and enthusiasm of young students, ready to savor the moments as we live and learn in a community.  I’ll be paying attention, keeping my eyes peeled, trying not to miss anything!

gull on the viewer