Circle of light

Good fairy

The Fairy Queen. Shayariel TeardropCC-BY

I have a colleague, mentor, and friend who retired a few years ago but who remains tirelessly dedicated to supporting teachers as writers. I was about to describe her here as a small, lively lady but those words don’t do her justice; she’s a vivacious dynamo. Her bright blue eyes always sparkling with energy, she’s mission-minded, a visionary, able to discern and speak hard truths with grace, even humor.

This past summer, as we co-facilitated a teacher-writer institute in our district, my friend was constantly thinking of ways to empower our attendees: “You know, if we need additional assistance, she would be wonderful; she knows so much about teaching young writers,” or “We need to think about a way to get them to share their experiences as writers; more teachers need to hear this!”

Listening to her one afternoon, as she made more suggestions on how colleagues could maximize their strengths, an image formed in my mind: My friend garbed as a fairy, walking a twisting path through an ominous, dark forest, wand held aloft, casting a welcoming light, seeing the good that’s hidden, calling it to her.

“You’re like a good fairy,” I told her, “the way you see people and empower them to find and use their gifts. It’s amazing how you’re always drawing more people into your warm circle of light, no matter how dark the path might get.”

“Oooh, I love that!” laughed my friend. “With a frog on my shoulder!”

“You know I will have to write about this,” I warned.

“Okay, just don’t forget the frog,” she said, eyes twinkling, moving on to a table to give feedback to a teacher who was just beginning to see herself as a writer. I watched as tears flowed down that teacher’s radiant face.

I thought about how I wouldn’t have been here at this institute, wouldn’t have had numerous opportunities as a literacy coach and writer if it hadn’t been for this friend who tapped me almost immediately for the work. Nearly from our first encounter, she encouraged me to use my voice, to seize moments, to inspire others, to keep pressing on, and, above all, to WRITE.

How thankful I am for her circle of light, that she drew me into it. Greater than any candle, torch, or wand, the light of inspiration passes from one to another as we march onward in the journey of life, with its inevitable twists, unexpected turns, obstacles, and darkness. Sometimes we cannot see further than our own immediate, wavering circle of light. That’s when it’s most important to look ahead, to recognize those going before us like beacons, vibrantly carrying on. Whatever comes, my friend will always be there, shining bright, holding her light as high as she can to make the circle larger . . . her little frog riding on her shoulder.


14 thoughts on “Circle of light

  1. We often see mentors described as wizened sages; how refreshing to see one as a fairy (with a frog, of course). I don’t know what I love more–your description of her, or her enthusiastic willingness to be seen in that light. Now I am wishing for my own fairy godmother to come my way!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My friend’s stature and liveliness do lend themselves more to a sprite than a wizened sage, although a ponderous wizard-like knowledge is definitely there. So glad you enjoyed … I bet your fairy godmother materializes soon…. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love having friends who work just that kind of magic! I loved your descriptions of the light she casts- she obviously saw the writer in you early on, so I am grateful that she drew you into her light and helped you find your own wings. Surely the frog matters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • She’s an extraordinary encourager; I have a debt of gratitude to her in many ways, So glad you enjoyed. I have not verified this but believe that the frog represents her faith and belief in others – she lives it.


  3. It’s always wonderful to find a person within our circle of friends who helps us shine. They build us up and sometimes, like your friend, reveals our hidden talents. She sounds like a sprig of mint refreshing the senses of those around her.

    Liked by 1 person

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