Welcome! I am so excited to be hosting the Poetry Friday round-up this week. I am incredibly grateful to be a part of this group of poetry friends! Thank you for joining in the round-up this week. Please be my guest here at the ridge and add your link at the bottom of the post if you like.
A few days ago, a special package arrived in the mail. Inside was a well-loved copy of the book, The Shape of a Year by Jean Hersey. It was a gift from my dear cousin Ali, who had discovered it in her late grandmother's house. She had read it and thought that I might enjoy reading it as much as she did.
It turns out she was right. After reading the inside jacket and the introductory chapter, I knew that it was one of those unexpected treasures that find their way into the heart.
Here are a few excerpts that I particularly admire.
QUIET AND SMOOTH, fresh and untouched the new snow lies across our meadow. Its pristine surface catches the sunlight, and tree shadows stretch like great blue pencils over the unbroken white. The snow folds gently over rocks and hummocks half concealing, half revealing a variety of different shapes.
So lies our year ahead, its basic ingredients sun and shadow and suggested shapes of things to come. I wonder what we will do with this year, what it will do with us, and what together we and life will create during the twelve months ahead.
A new year is a gift... Things happen. We grow (we hope), and we learn willy nilly... Our reachings, acceptances, rejections, our hesitancies, courage, fears, and our loves, all these form the shape of the year for us, as individuals, as part of a family, as a member of a community.
For me, Hersey's words offer a gentle invitation to find joy in the ordinary gifts of each day of the year. She invokes a sense of purpose in the awareness and careful observation of ourselves and the world around us.
Though I was unable to find much information online about her personally or professionally, I was able to find a few tidbits about her life's work. Jean Hersey was born in 1902 in New York City. She later moved to Weston, Connecticut where she wrote several books about gardening including, A Woman's Day Book of Houseplants and I Like Gardening. Her other books, A Sense of Seasons and The Shape of a Year, are incredibly poetic memoirs that reflect her love of nature and her pleasure in documenting the beauty of ordinary life.
I have only begun to read The Shape of a Year, but I am certain that I will continue to be inspired by Hersey's graceful words and the joy she finds in the realm of daily life.
You can find some of her quotes HERE.
Invitation to Write:
The shape of our year will soon change again as we head into the summer season. Spend some time thinking about the shape of your year so far and the days to come. Where do you already find joy in your daily life routines? Take a moment to write and reflect on these instances.
Think about how these moments help shape your thinking throughout the year. What impact might this thinking have on your goals and challenges this year?
Happy Poetry Friday! Thanks for stopping by this week. After your visit here on the ridge, be sure to make Jama's Alphabet Soup your next stop on the Poetry Friday trail!
It's hard to believe another school year is coming to an end. The month of May has a way of sweeping in unexpectedly. It closes out the school season and opens the door to another.
Soon, I will open the door to a summer season filled with writing and rewriting. I can't help but look forward to the many blissful hours I will spend on the ridge, just listening to the whispers. So many whispers have found their way into my notebook since I began my writing journey in this place I call home. I am so grateful to have this space to write and rewrite these whispers in my writing life.
I remember introducing my writing space here on the ridge during my very first blog post. I am including the poem from that first blog entry below. So much time has passed since it was written. And there is much that is still left unwritten. I am certain that more whispers will find their way into my writing life, but until they do, there are those that magically seek to be rewritten. They whisper to my mind, and I begin to write.
The Ridge-From the Archives
Meet Phoebe! These marvelous little birds get their name from the call they make that resembles the sound of "Phoebe!" being shouted to the wind. You can often hear them calling early in the morning. Another adorable trait they have is to wag their tail back and forth as they sit on a branch or on a line. It's so fun to watch them.
Yesterday, I was sitting at my little writing nook near the forest when I heard one nearby. She almost sounded as if she were shouting at me to acknowledge her and to hear her song.
Before I knew it, I found myself listening to her sweet notes and even conversing now and then with the delightful Phoebe bird. I had already written about her in my notebook many times, so I thought it was about time to share her song in a poem.
Invitation to write:
The history of this land that we now call our home, is strong and rich. I have always been fascinated by the past and the lives of those who came before us. My mind travels back to days gone by and to the people who belonged to this land before me.
When I heard that just down the road there was a cemetery where some of the Hearne family (pioneer settlers arriving in this area around 1852 and for who the town is named after) were laid to rest, I immediately started researching. I learned that all the land around the ridge and down to the Little Brazos river bottom, were once plantation lands owned by the Hearnes. They are recognized for bringing the cotton business and the railroad to Robertson County. Knowing the forgotten past of the landscape makes me think of the secret laughter and the sadness that are still attached to this land.
Invitation To Write:
Sometimes thinking about the history of an important place or studying the landscape around you can lead you to writing. Try researching the history of your home or a special place by asking family members to tell you about their memories of that place. Explore your thinking about this place by writing about it from different perspectives or from the sensory images it creates.
Welcome! I'm Kiesha Shepard, and I have a love for writing and the teaching of writing. Whispers From the Ridge is a place where I can share my words and ideas for teaching writing. It's also a place for you to find inspiration for writing the words inside of you. I invite you into my world of writing as I capture the whispers from the ridge.
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Schedule of Round Up:
6 Linda at TeacherDance
13 Keri at Keri Recommends
20 Violet at Violet Nesdoly | Poems
27 Carol at Beyond Literacy Link
3 Penny at A Penny and Her Jots
10 Katie at The Logonauts
17 Jone at Check it Out
24 Karen at Karen Edmisten*
3 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe
10 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
17 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
24 Catherine at Reading to the Core
31 Amy at The Poem Farm
7 Irene at Live Your Poem
14 Dori at Dori Reads
21 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
28 JoAnn at Teaching Authors
5 Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup
12 Tara at A Teaching Life
19 Kiesha at Whispers from the Ridge
26 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
2 Buffy at Buffy's Blog
9 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
16 Carol at Carol's Corner
23 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe
30 Diane at Random Noodling