Besides being an English teacher and life-friend, Gail Satterfield was and is a dream caster and seed planter. Of course, she had to teach us the what’s and why’s and how’s of words, but she took teaching to the next level.
For one, she always had a thoughtful quote waiting for us when we came in the room. The quotes were power points long before Powerpoint–written in perfect cursive on the big green chalkboard behind her desk. The quotes were John Donne or Robert Frost or Eleanor Roosevelt or Mark Twain. They were carpe diem! before “The Dead Poets Society” and they changed the way we saw the world.
For the record, Ms. Satterfield is still at it—still planting seed and casting dreams after all these years, only now her chalkboard is Facebook. Two to three times a week she will post some plutonium-level, keeper of a saying, and knowing long before Twitter that 140 characters is ‘a plenty, her borrowed wisdom is always short, sweet, and to-the-point.
“The Eskimos had fifty-two names for snow because it was so important to them; there ought to be as many for love.” (Margaret Atwood)
Forget Fifty Shades of Grey—let’s go with “Fifty-Two Names for Love!” I can do that!
- Jean… 2. Carey Beth… 3. Mom… 4. Dad… 5. Darryl… 6. Dwayne… 7. Celeste… 8. Grandmother… 9. Grandaddy… 10. Nanny… 11. Papa… 12. Roxy (the Maltese—you’ve got to love your dog).
I’m already at #12, and I haven’t even gotten out of the house.
“Fifty-two names for love”—I could get that many without going beyond our extended families. Some quiet. Some hilarious. Some wise. Some handshakers, some huggers and cheek-kissers, some note-writers. Some, a little goofy—but all, “names for love,” due to things said or done, and the manner in which they were said or done.
Add schoolteachers and coaches and band directors who invested their lives into mine. They taught me to conjugate a sentence, to use a sliderule, to block and tackle, to swim and dive, to shoot a lay-up, to tie a square knot, to paint with oils, and to think for myself.
There were caring friends and neighbors who kept me on the straight and narrow (such as it was). They were pastors and Sunday School teachers and devoted youth leaders who taught me about God and prayer, and where to find Habakkuk in the Old Testament.
I could get into “names for love” like, guitar, pizza, camp, songwriting, speaking, travel, fishing, golf, sports, movies, ice cream, standing on the beach or at the top of a mountain, watching the game with friends, or just having a great conversation.
I could talk about God. God is love, you know.
You get the idea–fifty-two names for love.
Now, it’s your turn. Piece of cake.
On you mark…get set…
Hey, wait a second—add “cake” to my list.