During the pandemic these teachers first posted videos on Facebook, and when summer came, led us in class outdoors. Yoga has met under a shady grove of mesquite trees, and cycling and rowing have moved to the parking lot. I was there for the very first class back. We all wanted to hug, but settled for waving and smiling big across the six-foot span.
Once upon a time I was a fitness teacher too. Before my kids were born I taught water aerobics, and most of my students were Greatest Generation folks. I taught two days after 9/11, and their general attitude was a determined, “Here we go again.” By the end of that class they’d returned to their favorite topic—dessert recipes for diabetics. That day they taught me more than I taught them.
In one of those early June parking lot classes, the teacher began our warmup by asking, “Tell me something wonderful that’s come out of the pandemic.” She shared how she’s gotten to know a neighbor, an older fella who always sits on his front porch—she used to be too busy to talk to him. Now she stands in the street, and they visit.
Then, one by one, we told our wonderful stories.
This week write a poem about wise teachers you have known (or wise teachers you have been, if you teach others). The setting can be a classroom or a parking lot—wherever wisdom finds you. What have you learned that you didn’t know you needed to know?
Thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s poetry prompt. Here’s one from Monica Sharman we enjoyed:
“Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.”
– G.K. Chesterton
We are doomed
to buoyancy, impossible
for pressures beneath to pull us
down from the clouds
those very pressures being
the upward forces that lift.
Browse more poetry prompts
“Megan Willome’s The Joy of Poetry is not a long book, but it took me longer to read than I expected, because I kept stopping to savor poems and passages, to make note of books mentioned, and to compare Willome’s journey into poetry to my own. The book is many things. An unpretentious, funny, and poignant memoir. A defense of poetry, a response to literature that has touched her life, and a manual on how to write poetry. It’s also the story of a daughter who loses her mother to cancer. The author links these things into a narrative much like that of a novel. I loved this book. As soon as I finished, I began reading it again.”
—David Lee Garrison, author of Playing Bach in the D. C. Metro
- Children’s Book Club: ‘Katy and the Big Snow’ - January 15, 2021
- Reading Generously: ‘How We Fight for Our Lives’ by Saeed Jones - January 8, 2021
- By Heart: ‘Everything Is Going To Be All Right’ + New W.H. Auden Challenge - December 17, 2020