In the last post Lost In The Glass Menagerie I mentioned the play was produced and directed by our secondary English teacher. Her creative talents and abilities were on display each class period and especially during this play in our mountain hamlet.
Mrs. F introduced us to Thoreau, Emerson, Coleridge, Hawthorne, Shakespeare, and those who walked the road of life before us. Their poems, essays and stories spoke of a life lived on this planet traversing the cosmos with hopes and dreams; struggles and victories; joy and sorrow; good-byes and finalities.
Of all the English teachers in secondary and university whom I have encountered, Mrs. F was the best of the best. After graduation from secondary, during the period before launching off to the university, I was privileged to spend time with her and a host of her friends.
During these times she helped shape some of my ideas and concepts—which I carry with me to this day. Her eclectic friends added a new dimension to what life was about from their perspectives, especially the pastor of the Episcopal Church.
Here was a group of people from various religious viewpoints who hung out and talked, laughed, and just had a jolly old time. No proselytizing; no degrading of other faiths: what was held in common was friendship which transcended barriers which seem so much to be in place today.
Around this core was Mrs. F, the centre. It was her world view which brought the group together.
Mrs. F gave me a book before I headed off for university—Tears And Laughter by Kahlil Gibran. Inside the front cover she wrote these words:
“With hope that your life will always be Tears & Laughter”
Over the decades life has been tears and laughter. Many of my classmates’ young lives in secondary school have ended tragically from accidents and health issues. When we were in class, life seemed endless with a cornucopia of possibilities.
Back then our teenage sight was limited in our appreciation of those who dedicated their lives to teach us. Now, many of those educators have passed beyond this realm, but their legacy lives now in those young lives touched so long ago.
To Mrs. F and the rest, a heartfelt thank-you for being there when we needed you the most. Your voices may have faded, but the mystic chords of memory are still with us, especially as we journey on to the shore of the cosmic ocean.
G. D. Williams © 2016