The True Joy of Life is not the Grand Gesture but in the Consecration of the Moment…

Dear Reader:

When I came across this line from a book by Kent Nerburn… I decided to use it in today’s post because I was immediately taken back to Flagstaff, Arizona in June of 1991.

I understood this thought because I had experienced it firsthand. On May 10, 1991, I heard my name being called out as Dorchester Two School District Teacher of the Year. All the district teachers, representing their home schools, were gathered at a luncheon in their honor at Oscars Restaurant .

Thinking there was no way ( so many talented teachers) that I would win… I had just shoved a huge piece of some kind of chocolate mousse dessert in my mouth. When I heard my name I was horrified! I felt like I couldn’t swallow and by now everyone was staring… I couldn’t spit chocolate mousse in my cloth napkin… what if my teeth were black and looked decayed for the cameraman (from the local newspaper) who was waiting to take my picture!

I think I purposely blanked the rest of that memory out but I must have thanked everyone and slinked back to my table. I vaguely remember just shaking my head, with my red face, at everyone and shrugging in shock.

If only that had been the closure that day… all would have been well. But no… there was going to be a community teacher recognition in June … after school was out! Big Conflict!

Earlier that year ( for Christmas) Mother and Aunt Eva had approached me about a proposal for a trip that was at the top of their ” bucket list.” They wanted to see the Grand Canyon. Or as Aunt Eva announced ” Before I am laid in my personal hole… I want to see the biggest hole I know… the Grand Canyon.” ( Very un-Aunt Eva-like… must have been that second Christmas toddy.)

They would pay all my expenses… if I would be their personal chauffeur and take care of making plans and renting the car. For months it was all they talked about… We were flying to Phoenix-then onto Flagstaff, Sedona and San Diego before flying back out of Phoenix to Charleston.

As you have probably guessed, it was the same week as the community reception for the selected teachers that year. It took all the nerve I had to inform my principal, superintendent and town council leader, about the conflict. I offered to step down but since it had been planned after school was out… it was just an unfortunate conflict. ( After that year they made sure the reception was scheduled during the school year. )

So on a beautiful day in June 1991… mother, Aunt Eva, and I held hands as we first laid eyes on the Grand Canyon. There were no words spoken… just tears of wonder and joy. We had done it! We three women, intuitively understood, that from that moment on… we were connected forever- not just by blood, but the ” consecration of the moment. ”

So until tomorrow… ” … As I dusted off the frames holding my old teaching recognitions to photo for the post… “I un-joyfully” went to get a glass cleaner for the job… and then laughed. ( sneezed too) That was my ” grand gesture.” The memory of that moment that bonded the two women in my life I adored together forever …would never need dusting. It was ” consecrated forever in my being. ”

Today is my favorite day! Winnie the Pooh

Ben went with Lee and family out for Bekah’s birthday-and all the grandchildren!

Ady, Rhea, and Rhodes! Seeing the future through grandchildren!
Arizona Strip-awe-inspiring sand formations!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to The True Joy of Life is not the Grand Gesture but in the Consecration of the Moment…

  1. Rachel Edwards says:



  2. Honey Burrell says:

    Beautiful blog! Special memories that last a lifetime ! Love you so!❤️💕❤️


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