Ours was a happy class yesterday. We read our 100 word spooky stories by flashlight, munched on not-really-good-for you goodies, danced around the classroom, and lounged in our comfy chairs. It was Halloween, and my costumed kids were focused on evening festivities – who would trick-or-treat with whom, where they would go, how they would make the most of the evening. We managed to get some work done, but even work looks different when you’re dressed like Big Bird, or Thing One (Thing Two is another classroom, alas). Ours was a happy class, yesterday. That is not to say that we are an unhappy class the rest of the non-Halloween school year, for we are definitely NOT an unhappy class. But, yesterday, sitting in my teacher chair, I saw my kids being happy kids. I saw it in the way they read their stories, in the the way they clapped for their classmates’ stories, in the way they munched and chatted, in the way they danced with abandon, in the way they sprawled out in their costumed glory and tackled the study guide for the Social Studies test. Ours was a happy class yesterday… and I, their teacher, loved watching their happiness.
So Much Happiness
With sadness there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.
But happiness floats.
It doesn’t need you to hold it down.
It doesn’t need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
and disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
and now live over a quarry of noise and dust
cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
it too could wake up filled with possibilities
of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
and love even the floor which needs to be swept,
the soiled linens and scratched records…..
Since there is no place large enough
to contain so much happiness,
you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it,
and in that way, be known.