Do you have a teacher that you remember? One that sticks with you years after you have left their classroom? One who’s lessons of life and the value of hard work and doing your best still influence you today? I do. And, I feel confident that #3 will share that same fortune after this year. You see, this year he has the teacher that I consider the best in our school. Really, #3 and #4 have incredible teachers – I call this our Super Bowl year. I feel so blessed to have the teachers we do – and I am especially thankful for Mr. Archuleta. He has influenced and inspired and guided #3 through the year with respect and enthusiasm. I have seen my child go from a boy who really didn’t enjoy school to a young man who takes pride in his work and often comes home excited to share stories of the goings on in his class that day. I credit Mr. Archuleta with that.
We were blessed to have Mr. A here for the day recently – partly so that he could play with Mr. Taylor in the pottery studio, partly to give him a tour of the farm. We somehow convinced him to stay for dinner and what a lovely day it was. I asked him if he would be willing to share his thoughts on finding the joy in simple moments and I am so pleased to share his thoughts with you~
Gratitude for Simple Pleasures
Heading to school this grey Northwest morning, I drove through a cloud of cherry blossoms! I loved it. An unusual springtime windstorm struck as I approached the tree. Driving through, I received my day’s blessings by a hail of pink petals.
Chris’ studio was bright from the sun glancing through the skylights. We played with mud all day like boys. Learning to listen to the clay, I threw my first pots. The clay whipped me into shape. We were laughing. We took turns listening to our stories. Some of the time all you heard was the whirring wheel, the sticky wetness of clay, the gurgling water being cupped into a hand from the bucket. Owen watched, listened, participated, and added to the fun.
Kim’s Blackberry Farm is in full bloom. She grilled outdoors and had a simple and delicious meal ready for her four boys and guest. We all sat around the long table. A salad of greens from that morning’s farmers market. White wine. Constant talk and smiles and laughter. Served on Chris’ pearl white plates.
More intriguing stories. And then, Kim’s newest dessert—a sweet, warm, buttery rich rhubarb streusel. I wanted more but minded my manners. That’s also why I turned down the vanilla ice cream topping.
I left my house on a cloudless day. Driving down the street a half mile I made a quiet gasp. I’ve never gotten used to Mount Rainier’s majesty. The snow covered volcano distantly looming over our forested neighborhoods, dwarfing the surrounding Cascade mountain peeks.
The arts are transformative and elevate the spirit. They are my religion. Music transports me. Add to that that my wife is the one making the music and you can imagine the power. How simple can simple be when it comes to sitting quietly and listening. Cecilia and her violin playing the second movement to Bach, Mozart, Beethoven is a prayer, a meditation, on love, joy, beauty.
Kurt is a frustrated artist I think. Maybe my son hasn’t reached a point at work where he is creatively fulfilled. I know that on the days he arrives from work, forces a “Hi,” and moves about silently. Only a parent can know the satisfaction of their child coming home with a smile wanting to talk about their day. You drop anything you’re doing just to listen.