The same questions, the same misunderstandings always seem to get in the way, and I can tell that the only person more frustrated than me was him, or her, or them.
But today was different, today there was a spark, and for the moment the waters parted and our exodus from confusion became clear.
“Oh I get it now, that’s actually kind of easy”, or some mumbled translation. My eyes light up, and I’m filled with hope, hope that somehow we’ve cleared a path, set a course for the future, and now nothing can get in our way, happily ever after.
Small insights reveal infinite lightness, these are the miracles of our work, the moments we talk about even when everyone else is done listening. They don’t understand how much these kids mean, they don’t understand the beauty of an ah-ha, especially for that kid. Scarcity reveals the worth of wonder.
This trickle of hope threatens to break the dam. I hold my breath awaiting the seemingly inevitable barrage of knowledge that is bound to follow this moment of insight. A new future free of the chains of their past struggles. I wait to see the fruits of my labor revealed, all of our hard work has finally paid off, the problem is solved and now we can move forward together, inevitably progressing together towards our pre-ordained happy future.
Tomorrow the glimpse is gone, and only questions remain. What seemed like stone has turned to sand and the miracle is gone, simply more time wasted.
Or is it?
Is the value of a moment of wonder found only as a brick in the wall, or can each brick stand alone? Does a moment of wonder need to lead to something to be wonderful?
The joy in the students’ eyes is no less bright in retrospect; the block of confidence added to their pile does not disappear. We learn that you can’t undo miracles. We realize that we can’t shape the future, but we can shape a moment, and we know success doesn’t need to accumulate to be worthwhile. We know our journey is less about the pot of gold, and all about the rainbow.