If I could choose the ultimate job title, it would be “Joy Specialist”. My heart longs for classrooms full of joyful learning. To create experiences where students are curious, immersed, and empowered is my passion. It is what sets my soul on fire. It’s my calling. Unlike happiness which is fleeting, joy abides in your heart. When you connect to your passion and find your life’s purpose, that joy radiates from your soul. You can't keep it quiet. I dream of classrooms where joy is ignited, and passions are realized. Today as I was pondering the word "joy", my eyes settled on a quote hanging in my living room; one that holds incredible meaning and sentiment to me.
As a child, there were many nights I’d be lulled to sleep by my grandpa’s beautiful recitation of the poetry he loved most. My very favorite poem that he would recite from memory was “I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud”, by William Wordsworth. The cadence and inflection of his voice was enchanting and I can still hear it echo in my head many years after he has left this earth. Due to his Dementia, when I would visit him in his later years he often didn’t remember who I was. Though, I knew in his heart he did. There was a twinkle in his eye when I would sit with him and hold his hand and ask him to recite this poem. Though he didn’t remember our names, what he had for breakfast, or other details of his life, he never forgot the words. Each time he recited it in the same way I remembered as a child, with passion and conviction. Tears would fill my eyes and joy would fill my heart as I listened to these words from a man who impacted my life so greatly.
A few years following my grandpa’s death, I was wandering through a store while on vacation and I felt compelled to look at a display of wall quotes. As I was looking through, I noticed many were discounted by half. Always excited by a sale, I continued to rummage through the various quotes until my eyes fell upon the back of a wall hanging that had been reduced to one dollar. As I turned it around to see what it said, my heart skipped a few beats. The words that have always held such meaning, were staring back at me.
"My heart with pleasure fills, and dances with the daffodils"
As my heart rate returned to normal, my tears started to flow. My grandma had just passed away and had always loved to shop. Even more than shop, she loved a good sale. After many shopping excursions throughout my life we would come back home at the end of the day and calculate how much we had saved on each purchase. These outings are special memories that I hold onto dearly. The quote treasure I had found, was not by random. I know it was a special gift from heaven from her. It was her way of saying, “grandpa and I are with you always. Live your life to the fullest and keep dancing with the daffodils"
As I read through each stanza of this beloved poem today, the lines bring another layer of meaning. To me the daffodils represent joy. Though sometimes my edujourney can be lonely, tiring, and downright difficult, the joy always radiates because I'm living out my life's purpose. My heart is always dancing with the daffodils.
I WANDERED LONELY AS A CLOUD
I wandered lonely as a Cloud
That floats on high o’er Vales and Hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden Daffodils;
Beside the Lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:--
A Poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the shew to me had brought:
For oft when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the Daffodils.
Tech Integration Specialist in Southern Oregon and author of Make Learning Magical. I'm passionate about finding innovative ways to transform teaching and create unforgettable experiences in the classroom.