My first year teaching special education was rough. I tended to take my students' struggles home with me and it was hard to let them go. Every Friday, to help me transition and to take away my sadness, I would stop by a wonderful farm in Morristown, New Jersey and buy farm-made cider doughnuts and cider for my family. It was my way of reminding myself that despite all the hardships humans experience, the world is full of Beauty. Today, on a visit to the farm, I experienced another sign that Beauty dwells among us.
Through the years, I have learned to teach effectively, and while I continue to have a heart for my students, I do not let their troubles rob me of my own energy and hope. I realize that approach had done none of us any good.
Still, Wightman's Farms remains a part of my weekly routine, a place to stop during my 40-minute commute. Because I go during the week, the farm is not crowded at all and I have gotten to know some of the folks who work there. The farm sells a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as wines and farm-raised meats and farm-fresh eggs and so much more.
Today, I stopped by the farm. I was on my way home from visiting the high school to pick up my replacement MacBook. (School starts next week and the students return Sept. 9) Lucas was with me and between the two of us, we spent nearly $80. Among the last item rung up was a bag full of tomatoes and farm-made mozzarella cheese. At the counter, I smelled the huge bouquets of basil and thought to myself that basil would have been a great addtion to our tomato and mozzarella salad.
Without a word, the clerk, who I have known for years, pulled off a few leaves and threw them into my bag with a smile, yet another reminder that our world is full of Beauty.