I love the tree outside my window. I’ll look up at it from my chair while reading a book, or cast a quick glance as I’m vacuuming. I suppose it’s an unremarkable tree. Not too tall, a thin trunk. It’s a common silver birch. But there is a way it looks, especially in July and August, that has the ability to instantly pierce through whatever worry I am feeling and replace it with a little bit of serenity. 

The view through the glass only allows me to see the topmost branches of the tree, nothing else. The bright green leaves are glossed, giving their surface a bit of a shine. At the slightest breeze the little triangular leaves, like pointed teardrops, begin to wave and flutter in glittering celebration.  And the backdrop to this green and silver splendour is the mid-summer sky, usually clear and bright, its deep blue electrified by sunlight. 

Not bad for a little birch tree. 

Finding grand beauty in small moments is something I’m trying to do this summer. In noticing what is around me, what is wonderful, and what I am grateful for. It’s not unlike teaching, where the most incredible joys can come from those “small” moments: a student’s delight when they understand something for the first time … an unexpected perspective or piece of art created in class … hearing pride in students’ voices as they share important events and people in their lives … camaraderie with other educators as we work together to create the best learning environments we can for students. 

As I look back on this year’s blog entries, I see it was a long, wonderful year full of those tiny moments of joy: students recognizing and celebrating their languages, educators collaborating, conversations, translations, open houses, and pincushions …

I hope this blog entry finds you happily settled into your summer, finding those wonderfully-small, imperfectly-perfect beautiful moments throughout. 


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