Saturday, December 15, 2007

Everlasting Love

Many of my fondest childhood memories revolve around the time I was in kindergarten. Those memories hold images of skipping and playing and having the freedom to just be Me. That age (around 5 years old) has also been a place in time where it feels like things shifted for me. Kindergarten was a time of living fully in my true self as a little person and also the time that I became aware of the heaviness and darkness that exists in the world. (The entering of paradox, perhaps?)

My most joyous memories come from being in Mrs. Peck’s kindergarten class. It was a private little house just around the corner from my home. I remember the independence of being free to skip around the block on my way to school. To this very day, I can sense the embrace of Mrs. Peck when I hug women who feel like her. Her whole being resonated unconditional love.

Yesterday as I was sorting through some photographs, I came across a cherished picture of me with my beloved teacher. I remembered the photo and was delighted to find it again. The bonus of the day, however, was a letter in her handwriting which I do not ever recall reading before. The envelope had my name on it and said, “Kindergarten Report 1961-62.” While I could regale you with tales of my brilliance at this young age (and there is no doubt I was brilliant ☺), I was most struck by this paragraph.

“It has been most gratifying to watch her development. She is a sweet child and one any parent could be proud of and I know you are. Yes, she is quite right I do love her and it has been such a pleasure to have her in our class. She is most interesting to me.”

Obviously I had picked up on her love for me and shared it with my mother (with great emphasis no doubt.) I have always known deep in my heart that she loved me, but also questioned if I had built it up in my imagination. What a gift to find these words of confirmation almost 50 years after they were penned (for she had not only written them, but also underlined her words of love)! This is a huge affirmation of the power of unconditional love for it has sustained me in ways I cannot begin to fathom. I believe Mrs. Peck is a lovely example of Christ's incarnational love.

The timing, of course, could not be more appropriate. During this season of Advent that emphasizes the importance of waiting, I often ask, “Waiting for what?” An obvious answer is we wait for Christmas; for Christ’s coming. But I believe it is more than that for God is always with us as reminded by the name Emmanuel (translated - God with us) and evidenced through people such as Mrs. Peck. Most often we have no idea for what we are waiting. Little did I know that I was waiting to receive this confirmation of love that had marked my heart with indelible ink.

For what are you waiting this season of advent? Will you allow yourself to rest in the mystery?

photos: Mrs. Peck & me...circa 1961-62

9 comments:

Tess said...

This story of Mrs Peck and her love is very beautiful. What stood out for me in her letter is the second phrase that has been emphasised: She is most interesting to me.
It strikes me that is quite an adult thing to say about a child. Perhaps she could see in you already the unusually thoughtful and gifted person we see today.

lucy said...

hi tess, that really stuck out to me, too, and i agree that it seems like a very adult thing to say. i so wish i could ask her what it was she saw. i guess i could simply rely on your assessment :-) thank you!

Lins Honeyman said...

Must've been like travelling back in time for you reading that letter.

I reckon the shepherds and wise men said of the child they saw in the stable "he is most interesting to me." I wonder if they saw a glimpse of His true potential that night.

Sue said...

What a beautiful post, Lucy. I do love the way you write and that photo is just damn priceless. Look at the gorgeous smile on your face! It reminded me of my grade 1 teacher, Miss Rosenblatt. She used to sing, "Susie Q, oh baby I love you, Susie Q." She was, like, 21 or 22, when I look back but she loomed as large for me as if she was 1021 or 1022 :)

For what am I waiting this season of advent? I am waiting to come out of this season of vulnerability. There is much I'm learning and a lot that is changing in me that I can't even articulate. That Divine Surgeon - he pokes around in there and does stuff, and it's not until ages later that I recognise what he's done. Will I allow myself to rest in the mystery? Damn right I will, girlie. If I've learned anything, it's that his work is so good there's a lifetime guarantee on it ... and the life that springs out of his touching and healing is worth all the pain to get there.

Thanks again. I feel all mushy and lovely after reading this post hehe

storyteller said...

Lucy - What priceless photos and memories ... and the letter, a lovely gift indeed. My early school memories are not so wonderful as yours, but I did have an exchange teacher from England in the 5th grade who rode a bicycle for transportation and encouraged us to write every day. I have a few pieces of my writing from that year with encouraging words that I wouldn't part with, even though they are blood-spattered from when he took a spill on his bike ... but no photos. He did link me up with a former student in England and she & I were pen pals until she died a few years back. I've met a few such angels as Mrs. Peck and Mr. Farthing in my lifetime ... and I hope I'm living my life in such a way that God is revealed in me as well.
Hugs and blessings,

SUNRISE SISTER said...

Oh what a beautiful and such precious memories confirmed in writing!! I am so happy that you found this - the photos are not unsurprisingly darling - and Mrs. Peck's words such words of reassurance for all of us who have been with someone that truly nurtured our creativity and spirit.

"She is most interesting to me.".....yes, and she still is. Beautiful and thoughtful words from 'lins honeyman' ....and oh, Suzie Q, baby I love you, my Suzie Q - well it's better than the "Winter Wonderland" that I've been singing for a few days!

Great post, Lucy! xoxoxo

Country Parson said...

I have only one question. Did Mrs. Peck pick a pack of peppers?

Sue said...

Lucy. Sorry to lob into your comments with this but I don't have your email address. Youve been doing The Artist's Way, haven't you? I've just got onto week 4 where I am supposed to NOT READ ANYTHING FOR A WEEK! Is this woman mad?

I understand why this is so, but she wrote this book before blogging was invented :) Does blog posts count as reading?

This feels harder than giving up the dope. Can you tell me if you did this - and if so, how easy did you find it? I'm scratching the needle itch already.

Abbey of the Arts said...

lucy, these photos are absolutly adorable and I see the spunk in your young self that your older self has reclaimed. What a gift to find that report card and feel confirmed in that love.