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Archive for December, 2010

Narcissus in Spring


The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.

~ Mary Oliver ~

Nasturtium in Summer

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The ramp to algebra class - up up and up!


“The most essential factor is persistence – the determination never to allow your energy or enthusiasm to be dampened by the discouragement that must inevitably come.”
~ James Whitcomb Riley

Jacaranda tree blooming on campus


Last night, around 6-ish, I did the last algebra homework assignment due for the year. Next week, I have three tests and then I’m finished. It feels as if I’ve done nothing but push numbers and x’s around on paper forever and ever! That’s probably an exaggeration, but math was not easy for me in any way: I’m aware that I would not have needed so much time if I had taken to it a little more naturally!

rainy morning campus foliage


Today is Sunday and I’m going to spend a little time celebrating my persistence with something that scared the hell out of me, made me break down a couple times and doubt my intelligence like never before. At this point, no matter how I do on the final tests, I will be proud of myself because I know what I overcame and I know what I did. There will be bigger and badder math classes in my future (I don’t even know exactly what calculus is but it’s on my to-do list) but I’m ready for it and now I have a solid (mostly solid) math foundation under me. It feels as though a previously missing piece of me has been restored and I feel more complete.

campus flowers - need to find out what these are!


So how will I celebrate? As soon as I finish this, I’m going out to the garden. My poor abandoned, overgrown, grassy weedy garden. I’m going to water it by hand, then sit on my stone bench and tell it how much I love it and that I’m sorry for being away so long. There has been a promise made that I will not get upset over what has died or dried up. Simply an acceptance of what had to be and what is, with a commitment to return when I have time. There will be a full month in between semesters and you can bet I’ll be out there as much as possible putting things in order!

autumn leaves near the classroom


After that, I’m going to brunch with some friends and maybe a walk on the beach. This evening, I’ll be back to the books to study for the final tests, but not until I get out in the Sun and share some laughter with people I love. Today, I will raise a glass to persistence – the most essential factor in gardening, and apparently, mathematics!

I pick up pine cones on campus after difficult classes. I have a lot of pine cones!

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