So I’m finally getting around to last week’s Five-Minute Friday prompt, “tree.” You can learn more about it here at Lisa Jo’s blog. The rules are pretty uncomplicated. Although, I should add that I work in special education and I don’t believe in timed testing. (Re: I’m a rule breaker. It may be unedited, but it sure as heck isn't timed.)
"Some of the kids I work with have the most brutiful physical expressions of emotion. They flap, they spin, they hum, they squeal. Our room is quite the circus in the afternoon. When Bug is alone in the bathroom she starts singing, which sets Cricket off laughing, which makes Stripper scream, which makes Ronan run …
Anyway. Ronan in particular has this full-bodied mode of expression. Shoulders pinned, back arched, toes poised for take-off. The tension rolls through him like so much salt water, the waves rocking him precariously. He is the perfect illustration of anxiety.
I thought of Ronan this afternoon as I paced the kitchen, realizing “I am not okay.” The mantra reeled through me with each step. “I am not okay.” I guess I was giving words to my own experience, as I do so often for these kiddos. I must say “I hear you” dozens of times a day. “I hear you and I understand. You are ___.” Mad. Scared. Excited. Nervous.
I picture Ronan again and suddenly I get it. This tension is the pull between two realms. The image I was looking for was not one of submersion, but extension. A tree – partially uprooted, battered by invisible winds – inhabiting that space between earth and sky."