Sunday, August 21, 2011

An Ode to Summer of 2011

Summer of Growth
by Stella Villalba

This was the summer that I lived in New York City
for ten glorious days.
Living and breathing city lights and Broadway signs.
Columbia University was my destination after my morning coffee
Ipod in hand, books in the bag, a whole day of learning
ahead of me.

This was the summer that I became a teacher consultant
for the Columbus Area Writing Project.
A group of dedicated teachers bonded at Kenyon University
for a weekend retreat where the most beautiful and
inspirational writing bloomed along with writers-in residence
and actors preparing for their next big screen success.

This was the summer that I stayed cool by eating
tons of watermelon during the day.
While I was writing, while I was reading,
sitting on the front steps of my apartment,
watching people on their daily run.
Watermelon by my side was my key ingredient
to stay cool and refreshed.

This was the summer that I discovered more places
in Columbus than I’ve ever had.
Mozart Café, Milestone 229, Java Central, Dirty Franks,
and my favorite one of all times: Columbus Commons
where an ideal reading room was born.

This was the summer that Cycle 20 Project Diversity from
United Way made their marks in this city leaving our footprints
behind at the Parson’s store where hundred of families
seeked for help and support to start the new school year.

This was the summer that one book club was born,
a group of women challenged each other to Think about
issues that matters, topics that rise the bar
and questions that are so controversial and unspoken.
We discovered our differences but also got united by
things that move us the most, revealing more than
we ever will.

This was the summer that I met Maria Guzman and became her
mentor. I considered this more MY blessing than hers.
I can only hope she can learn a thing or two from me,
but in reality she has been teaching ME more.
She is the living example of faith and perseverance.
of hard work and success.

This was the summer that I witnessed three of my friends
getting married, each of them promising  a life together
in healthness and in sick with the person that stole their hearts.
Their promising eyes and their unconditional love
were transparent for a whole audience to feel it and join them
in the prayer for this love to always be strong.

This was the summer I saw a Frida Khalo's original painting at MOMA in NYC.
Frida's life was a painful one but her love for the arts, for all things beautiful overcame the pain she learned to live with. 

This was the summer I read over 100 books…
some picture books, some adult novels, and young adult as well.
Poetry never misses from my pile and discovered some
great graphic novels that I will take to my classroom.

This was the summer I watch my friends’ life
making some positive changes in preparation of
the lives that will join them in the fall.
Preparing their soul for a lifetime of giving and caring,
what a joy is to watch your friends turn themselves
into the mothers they are meant to be.

This was the summer my desk moved to my living room
creating a perfect writing space for my daily mornings
in company with coffee and books.
My blue desk symbolizes the writer I’m becoming
yet it also represents the long journey ahead.

This was the summer I celebrated 10 years in the USA.
Ten years of grow…
ten years of life time friendships
ten years of moving, packing, going, arriving.
Ten years of discovering an inner strength
I didn’t know it existed in me.

Thank you Summer of 2011.
You were so much more than I expected.
You didn’t disappoint. and I made it to the end.


debf said...

What a wonderful post! So beautiful, thanks for sharing!

Bill said...

So well said! We missed you at breakfast Saturday, but thanks for sharing these thoughts with us.

Julie said...

Beautifully said!! It brought tears to my eyes as well as a smile. Have a wonderful school year.

Mary Lee said...

Beautiful tribute to a landmark summer!!