When asked what message I would give to my younger self, I see and hear so clearly the exact message: You have wisdom and a voice that is unique and important. Find a way to use it. How special and sacred is this message. I can imagine myself as a young child, my hair neatly in two braids, the work of my mother each morning; I’m wearing “comfy” clothes like sweatsuits and t-shirts so I was free to play and run as I saw fit, usually trying to keep up with my older brothers. I can see my childhood bedroom, and my bed, at times overflowing with teddy bears. I remember sometimes having to sleep on my side, making myself take as little room as possible on the far edge of the bed, so my beloved bears could fit. How lovely. These were the same teddy bears I would place in neat rows while I played teacher, providing the bears (and more importantly, myself,) with lessons on the alphabet, or reading, or geography (with the pamphlets my mom got for me in town from the travel agent). How the bears and I loved to look at those tall furry hats the guards in London wore, with their bright red jackets and shiny gold buttons. Someday, my bears and I dreamed, we would go see them in person. We can hear the chimes of Big Ben, right before I dismissed the teddy bears for recess and I, as the teacher, tidied my notes or their homework (which I had assisted them with). Now as an adult, I would tell that young educator-child that she has a special wisdom and voice, as all people do, to share with the world. That is my biggest dream for her, and for everyone. To get comfortable, and courageous, to share their wisdom of love and hope and promise with the world. It is my greatest wish that my readers find this when they interact with my writings. I would tell that little girl to keep dreaming and writing and teaching–to find her way to the work and the world that she wishes for, dreams of, imagines.
When we realize and share our visions and voices–that is magic.
Perhaps as magical as a room for of teddy bears, a small chalkboard, and a girl with dusty chalky hands imagining their way across Turtle Island and the Atlantic Ocean, to hear the chimes of an old clock and see shiny gold buttons and tall fur hats.