Celebrating Mothers

The day started, like any other Sunday. A light breakfast of bagel cream cheese and a few olives, washed down with a steaming cup of hot chocolate. The powdered chocolate from cocoa grown in the rain forests of Ghana. Pure, refined and slightly bitter. It was creamy and had a sweet aroma. I glanced at my phone and noticed I had many messages from all my cherished children and dear friends wishing me a, ‘Happy Mother’s Day’. I felt special. I had to share the feeling with my mothers, so I sent my mother-in-law and a few mentors messages of love and encouragement for this journey of parenting.

I then got ready for church, and remembered there was an event after lunch. I took my two choices of clothing with matching shoes and accessories, just in case one was not right.

After church, I stopped at my sister’s, joined the family for lunch and prepared for the Mother’s Day Garden-Tea Party. Many events in my life create images that stick and this was one of them. A colorful group of ladies, some familiar others not so familiar. We chatted and got acquainted with each other before settling down to a menu of delights. The youthful band surprised us with familiar music that sounded so perfect and mellow. It is only when you actually turned to see the band that you realized the music was live.

Meanwhile the setting was just extraordinary. Tables of two, four six and more had been set. With waiters at our beck and call. Mother’s being pampered. The garden was plush, I have grown to appreciate plants and ‘greenery’ so much. The garden had been cleverly nurtured, with a hut-like thatched roof of green palm branches. There was a mix of realistic looking artificial flowers for the décor, however there were beautifully colored roses as the center pieces on the plushly laid tables.

When we found our table, ‘Peach Tea’, none of the guests were seated. Soon after that, a few ladies joined us. The conversation started. The waiters served the most exotic tasting cold tea and kept refilling our glasses. They delivered the three courses on tiered servers. It seems scanty but definitely a delight to see and taste. It was filling, many choices, sweet and savory.

A remarkable experience. The sheer exuberance of the exquisitely dressed mothers or mothers to be. An escapade I am sure I will look forward to next year. Thanks to the organizers, like my children, this will live with me for a very long time.

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Royalty

Revered and endowed with glittery paraphernalia

Observed by many around the world

Yellow flowers peek through the lot

Adored and adorned in both life and death

Laid in state for all to see, dignity bestowed

Treated and trusted with utmost majesty

Years of service and sacrifice appreciated

This acrostic poem is an opportunity to celebrate a great woman. I have grown to appreciate royalty. This must be a result of the chiefs and queen mothers in every Ghanaian town or village. The queen mothers are matriarchs we celebrate them for their strength and resilience.

Flickr; Jordan23Queen

The Simple Things

I carried my miniature plant to school this morning. Walking past our quiet playground, I knew our students would admire and appreciate it. Its uniqueness would encourage them to ask questions. My previous students named the class plant last semester, decorated and took care of it.

Passing beside the playground, I was reminded of the tree stumps that have been purposely buried in the playground sand, with protruding parts of different heights. On the first day of school, I noticed a few of our fifth graders playing on it. The students climbed and jumped onto the surrounding stumps with one girl on the middle stump. I watched them for a while and smiled.

Walking into school this morning, I thought about the possibilities the stumps will generate for our students. Their creative minds allow them to come up with the most innovative ideas. That is when I thought about how simple items can benefit students in many different ways.

The Old Cupboard Key

Rusty, old cupboard key

Opens where memories are kept

Mama’s dusty jewels

Packed in tiny boxes

Tiny, old cupboard key

Holds many treasures

treasures collected for years

Mama’s dusty jewels

Packed in tiny boxes

Twisted, old cupboard key

Leads us to many stories

to those jewels, gold and silver

Mama’s dusty jewels

Packed in tiny boxes

Lonely cupboard key

held by a metal ring

that leads us to

Mama’s dusty jewels

Packed in tiny boxes.

At Teach Write Academy, we were honored to have an online experience of poetry with Kate Moore, using a few activities from her book Alphapoetica. This is a poem I crafted from the word KEY!

That cupboard in my parents room held many treasures. I wrote this with a structure I felt would work.

That Spark

I listened to a webinar that completely helped me rethink my story. This short story I crafted in 2020, but felt there was something else it needed to achieve that spark. What I heard was useful and relevant, the kind that interestingly felt like feedback on the work I had done so far.

It made me acknowledge the benefit of feedback and also how being a writer can influence the way I teach and provide feedback to my students.

The webinar has sent me off in a very productive direction. More like a critique partner it has me back on the drawing board, revising and tweaking my story in a way that will be accessible to a wider audience.

Three or Four Chapters

I’m a member of a very vibrant and energetic bookclub.

What members bring with them is so thought provoking. The conversations are teeming with connections, life experiences, stories and humour, so much of it. We meet on Zoom from different continents, with our different nationalities and accents. We discuss in a common language.

Having been a participant in different bookclubs I realised how different this format was. I went through the first meeting nodding and thinking, I’m learning so much. Not only was this particular book provocative, but the energy the members brought to the three or four chapters we read was intriguing. So many issues, topics and questions surfaced.

What made the author include this or that?

What was the author thinking?

Why did we have to infer so much?

What exactly was being addressed here?

Sometimes we are led to carry out some more research in order to understand parts of the book.

At the end of our first meeting, I could not wait for the next three or four chapters and the leads that would come from the discussion.

Putting my teacher’s hat on, I plan to set this up for my fifth graders, to get them engaged and ‘fired-up’ to read and enjoy discussions around books.

Reflection of this school year

5 things that made me smile

Students , their resilience, mask wearing, dotted illnesses, some class closures, managed play areas due to social distancing and many more ‘news’!

Conquering my new school year of looping with most of my students. They were different as they matured a lot through the school year.

Students’ passion and interests shared eloquently during our PYPX. 

Getting to know my students their strengths and needs.

Collaboration (with teachers) not so easy but achieved results in the end.

4 words to describe my school year

Different

Changeable

Manageable

Successful

3 plans for my holiday

Rest

Read and write daily

Recuperate ( seems like the word for teachers to regain the energy) before the next school year.

2 things I learned this school year

To listen more and reflect before judging.

Be patient and work through challenges, they soon pass.

I goal for my next school year

Start with a positive mindset

A little piece of me

Browsing through Instagram, I came across a post from one person that led to another. I usually read interesting posts but rarely comment.

This time, the post led me to another. To my amazement it was a challenge, one that I found very inviting, especially at this time of my school year (when my to-do list never diminishes).

A May challenge that asks for one bit of information a day. I found the right title for it, A little piece of me. I thought so, as by the end of the month I would have thought deeply about myself and experienced daily mindfulness at the same time.

I’m glad the post allows us to take a screen shot and answer the questions on our own or with friends. So here’s today’s ‘ask’ below.

I’ll wait till the end of the month to contemplate on all my answers.

Good Times

They left home

Leaving us here

Their rooms

Left

as it was.

Later on,

we realised

they’ll be gone.

Maybe, gone for good?

For when they return

it will be temporary,

here,

it may be to friends,

a hotel, somewhere,

where they live like

visitors, tourists,

foreigners.

Yes

We had good times

long chats, laughs, stories,

cooking together, movie nights,

games’ dates, celebrations,

long road trips to different parts.

Those memories,

Some captured in photographs

were moments

we never wanted to end

But indeed,

“All good things must

come to an end.”

We continue to cherish

the memories

they have left behind,

and took with them!

I selected this proverb from The Poem Farm ; “All good things must come to an end,” and wrote the poem.

Silence

Like a plain sheet

It is nestled here

In its perfection

I wake up to it

In the middle of the night

It commands a surge of

gratitude

Supplies time to think

It’s intent is just to be

present.

SILENCE!

An opportunity to be

Just be

Enveloped in this hushed space.

During the March slice of life challenge, I collected many words from slicers, words I have never used in my writing. I vowed to use them frequently and today I have been able to dot some of them around, here in my poem about silence.