3. having momentous significance; decisively important
“They” say you’ll remember certain teachers forever. For me, Mrs. Butts class, 3rd grade. Yup, that was her name. She was disciplined but encouraging.
Fridays weren’t just pizza day at school. Every Friday we had an assignment called “picture stories”. Mrs. Butts would tape a picture to the blackboard and we had to write a story about it. There were no guidelines on it. It was left to my imagination to create anything I wanted. I loved writing those stories.
The reward given, for every five gold stars received in a row, was the choice to skip the assignment for that particular week. But being the nerd I was, the reward was attaining those gold stars. Not silver, blue or red. Gold. And I never wanted to skip the assignment, no matter how many gold stars I attained.
When it came time to pull out our blue books and write, I would moan and groan with the rest of the class. But secretly, I couldn’t wait to SEE the picture. The anticipation would begin to build from the night before. Yes, I was that kid.
I couldn’t wait to let myself go. Fly away in my thoughts and escape into this picture. It made me feel free and vibrant.
It was duality of the creative process combined with receiving those gold stars, which produced joy. As fair and balanced as a teacher needs to be, I knew not everyone received gold stars. Clarity Girl was bringing it all together~penmanship, grammar, punctuation, and creativity. She had sparked something in me.
As a 3rd grader, and not yet had any exposure to the grand scheme and ironies of life, I didn’t fully grasp the importance of these feelings of fulfillment. But something about it stayed with me through the years. And it’s back.
Only now the pictures weren’t from newspapers or magazines. The pictures are from my life. Pictures gathered, captured in my head. Waiting for me to sift through like a card catalog. Pictures organized by childhood, people, decade, closed doors, open windows, events, questions, answers, travels, love, pain, lessons, and rebirth.
So here I am, no longer a child but continuing to put words together to form stories. Continuing to get excited with anticipation, continuing to share, continuing to grow my imagination, continuing to have fun, continuing to relish the experience of bringing it all together. Why does all this continue?
I rediscovered what I’ve always loved to do and it’s decisively important purpose in my existence.
With her fateful introduction to picture stories, Mrs. Butts changed my life…forever.