Most mornings my classroom is bursting with pale yellow light brightening the ancient plaster walls, the blackboards dominating wallspace next to turquoise papered bulletin boards. A butterfly border frames the blackness where posters stay vertical with magnetic force and where no chalk is residue, the missing marks of another way in the world.
Two overflowing ferns speak across the room, one at the front, the other at the back, sending secret messages on air, purifying it from their soulbound pots, reminding me that earth is a floor below. Water spills over the pot’s edge to the ancient warn wood desk, the unfinished surface, a warm tan which echoes the history of this place.
Students arrive near 9 am moving in smudges of colour through the halls, a pink backpack, a decalled skateboard, some camo tights, with smiles that cannot be hidden revealed in the eyes. She came for tea before class, and we talked about family stories, the ones known or known only in part – our grandparents and parents. She told me that her great grandfather, Fred Taylor, painted the art which adorns my paperback version of Michael Ondaatje’s novel, In the Skin of a Lion. I remembered the story and the artist, Caravaggio, who used light and shadow – chiaroscuro – a colourful memory of research done with my youngest son who loves art and tries, never succeeding, to understand it.
With a purposeful turn to the windows, I delight in moving blues and whites of sky which whisper the return of greens. Although, I am not a successful gardener, green is my dominant hue; it is my source of energy, both internally and externally. It is in my iris, in the memories of my youth on grassy carpets meant for cartwheels, and leafy trees meant for hide and seek. It is my favourite meal in leaves of kale and florets of broccoli, vegetables that once made me scrunch up my face in an “eww”.
But green is such a hopeful hue,
so green will always live,
along with light,
in all the spaces,
where I am,
and always spread delight.