A Vision of Hope

Look to this day
for it is life,
the very life of life.
In its brief course lie all 
the realities and truths of existence
the joy of growth
the splendor of action
the glory of power.
For yesterday is but a memory
And tomorrow is only a vision,
But today well lived 
makes every yesterday a memory 
of happiness
and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day...
This was the ancient sufi poem that 7th grade students in Mr. Etigson’s English class read months ago on Grandparents Day. Mr. Etigson reintroduced the poem to his class last week and challenged his students to spend 10 minutes writing with this poem in mind. He encouraged his students to consider where they are finding “the joy of growth” or “the splendor of action” or “a vision of hope” or “the very life of life.” 

Mr. Etigson expressed, “I love this sufi poem so much because it encourages all of us to really ‘look to this day.’ I think it resonated with the students even more in the midst of the pandemic, and it allowed them to deepen their thinking about what it means to really live each day well.” The responses that Mr. Etigson received from his students amazed him. “I was blown away by their thoughtful responses, and when I sent them to other teachers, they felt like they had just received a manifesto for how they should approach their days!”

These are two of the thoughtful responses that Mr. Etigson received:

“I find hope where the trees grow tall, as tall as the sky. I find hope where the lonely flower grows in the field. There is hope everywhere if you know where to find it, like in cracks of the sidewalks where the weeds are, how they break barriers and grow into the sky even when they are not supposed to be.” ~Abigail ‘25

“We look to this time because it is a way for us to come to terms for ourselves. Some people may watch Netflix or Disney+ for 24 hours a day and eat unhealthy food, but others may find a light. Restaurants are closed, so you should learn how to cook. Don’t want to be stuck inside all day? Go for a walk. 

“This time can be an opportunity for all of us to grow as humans. The time has come for all of us to re-evaluate how we live our lives. Personally, I am spending more time outside and walking more. Sometimes, I feel myself slipping, but I just remember how lucky I am compared to others. In New Mexico, we can still go outside, we can still interact with a small number of people, and Bosque has found a way to still have school. 

“I heard somewhere that it was good to be bored. It helps your brain grow, or something like that. Embrace the boredom! Lay on the floor of your room and stare at your ceiling fan contemplating life for an hour if you want. Stare at a blank Google doc. We are always wishing for a break; for a day to play video games and watch TV. That day is now. Embrace it, but remember how hard you worked to deserve it. 

What have you always wanted to learn? Graphic design? Juggling? How to make a cake? Use this time! Learn it. We have something called the Internet, which can teach you anything. 
Embrace that we live in this modern time. In the olden days, we would have had to send letters to each other. This really is perfect timing. Live for the very life of life!” ~Mattie ‘25