Happy Retirement, Mary Lee!

Nature writer, Hal Borland, wrote “blue sky, warm sun and roadside violets are as comforting a discovery as any heart could ask of the burgeoning countryside.” When I read this recently, it occurred to me that there are certain people who are like that, too–present and adding to the comfort of all. Mary Lee feels like that kind of person to me. Although we’ve never met, her generosity of spirit, her passions for poetry, equity, nature and teaching shine through. She is warm, welcoming and inspiring. While I am sure her absence will be keenly felt at her school, I’m looking forward to seeing where her creative energy takes her!

To celebrate all things Mary Lee in this week’s Poetry Friday, I’m re-sharing a slightly edited version of a poem I wrote to celebrate Mary Lee’s birthday several months ago.

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by another warm and generous teacher, Christie Wyman, at her blog, Wandering and Wondering. Be sure to stop by and join in the celebrations!

12 thoughts on “Happy Retirement, Mary Lee!

  1. Janet F. says:

    YES! You truly know Mary Lee. She is a shining example of teacher, poet, human. I am lucky to call her friend and to have met her at NCTE conventions over the years. I know the classroom will miss her, but she will continue to use her voice to ennoble the world. And we need her kind of effort for sure. She gets at the heart of the matter. Lucky students who had her guidance and love.


  2. carwilc says:

    Mary Lee’s kindnesses have blessed me over and over again the last 15 years. She truly is a wordsmith, wonderer and wonderful human!! I love the way those lines feel as I read them!


  3. katswhiskers says:

    I’m sure Mary Lee’s parents would have loved to read this in the baby name book, all those years ago when they were naming their wee-sweetie. Mary Lee’s sea star has brought joy to many.


  4. Molly, I love the way you’ve crafted this celebration of Mary Lee, an all-around “wonderful human!”


  5. lindabaie says:

    Yes! “star in our sea”. We are lucky, aren’t we?


  6. margaretsmn says:

    What a lovely description of Mary Lee, present and adding comfort to all. Visiting these posts has been comforting. Our community is so generous and kind making my heart swell that I am a part of it all. Love your w-words in the poem “Wordsmith, wonderer, wonderful”.


  7. cvarsalona says:

    Wordsmith she is, Molly. Thanks for also sharing the violets to brighten my day.


  8. haitiruth says:

    ❤ Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com


  9. Yes, recurring beautifully by our roadsides, over and over! Love it.


  10. Nailed it, Molly! From now on, I don’t know if I’ll be able to think about Mary Lee as anything but the “star in our sea”. A beautiful poem for a beautiful human being.


  11. maryleehahn says:

    You should have seen my jaw drop when you quoted Hal Borland. One of the tiny railroad towns along I-70 in eastern Colorado, Flagler, claims his as their own. I grew up four towns (40ish miles) away in Burlington, and saw that sign every time I’ve driven back and forth to Denver. So. Perfect pick! I am proud to be one of the ordinary things that gives comfort. I aspire to find ways to continue that in retirement.

    Thank you for this poem (again), and I hope with all hope that someday we meet in real life. You are one of my poetry/photography/teaching rockstars!


  12. Cathy M says:

    “Star in our sea”



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s