In my heart, there is a room of two boxes. Both are old and ancient. They were built before me; they will last after I die.
The room is as big as the world. I can look out across it and be calmed by the sea. I can stare up from it and be struck dumb by the stars. I can look over my shoulder and see the shadow of night approaching wherever I turn.
For everything in it, the boxes matter most.
One is already open. The other is still closed.
The open box is empty except, of course, for hope.
The closed box is full. It is full of voices, ideas, dreams, and truths. Some of them sound joyful. Some of them sound dark. None of them are mine, but I have been stuffing them here since the time I began teaching.
These are the questions I chose to leave unanswered; the challenges I ignored; the inspirations I crowded out of my classroom; the footsteps of the kids I sent out the door.
In all the work left to all of us, I know what is left to me.
It is not for me to police and capture and close up that first box again.
Instead, I must find a way to open the second one and to stop looking for night in the shadows of the giants my students will become.