When I was a teenager, a teacher at CNS read to seniors the book Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus. The story resonated with me because it reminded me of my Grannie Annie and the way she viewed life. Years later, when various tragedies hit students where I taught, I bought copies of the book as inspiration and for guidance. It is an allegory for difficult times. The story resonates with young people, teenagers, and adults.
Yesterday, while grading papers, I couldn't get my mind off the fact that on my way back to Syracuse, I will drive through Newtown, Connecticut. My mind has been on their community, especially their teachers and students. My administrative assistant and I went through our records and learned that there are several teacher consultants who have participated in the Connecticut Writing Project at Fairfield who live and/or teach in Newton. On a whim, I looked up the title of this book and wrote a note inquiring about how to buy copies for these teachers so they could have it on hand while teaching (I think every teacher should have a copy of this book and although it cannot undo the sad event of last week, it may be useful in helping teachers and student to cope).
I didn't expect Trina Paulus, the author, to call me. I'm thrilled to say that through her network, the CWP-Fairfield network, and their website, her book, Hope for the Flowers, will be available to teachers, students, counselors, families, and psychologists. It is a small gift with a potential for tremendous impact. Her board and friends have set up a PayPal account on the website and for every $10 raised, another book will be distributed. The goal is to distribute 100 books and we are almost halfway there. Donations also support Trina's butterfly release program to send fluttering magic into the world as a reminder that there is always hope.
"I love / to believe / in hope," as Brendan Kennally, an Irish poet, once wrote. Believing in hope is, sometimes, all we have.