It is just the first bell. A student has misplaced her papers and can't do her work. I tell you what; I am exhausted too. Yes, I know it is still the first bell too! In my mind, I go 'three quarters of holding your hand, leading you and, I get this?'. But I know they are just children, so without raising my voice, I ask her to quietly sit out the class while others are working through their math! I get a note from her later on that day and, we have a talk – she feels better, I feel better. At lunch break, I call a friend who was a colleague earlier. She has retired this past year and, off late I realize the most I miss about her is her infectious, loud laughter across the hallways! While there were days when I have wondered as to what's there to laugh so much about and gently closed the door so that I could focus on my teaching, for the past week or so, I realized I miss her laughter. It feels like suddenly everyone has become serious. I am glad I did, for I laughed quite a bit myself while talking with her. Later that afternoon, the principal calls me to the office and wants to talk about something written on the bathroom walls in the girls stalls. Bathroom walls and a talk – experience has taught me, never a good thing! With her serious face still on, she flips through her phone and turns the screen towards me. Seeing what's on the screen, I am surprised and break out into a wide smile. It simply says "Mrs.(my name)" followed by two heart drawings right below it! My principal's poker face is now filled with delight looking at my reaction. We still don't know the giver of all that love, but the recipient is undoubtedly happy , very happy! All that hand holding and guiding is worth it, seems like! I look at the flowering pear trees through my windows and can't help beaming with joy and pride. Those trees have gone through a lot, including hearing me talk to them for so many years. And yet, here they are in all their glory, standing tall and flowering in spring, giving shade in the summer and changing to fabulous colours in fall, not to speak of the tons of leaves I have to bag in winter It is the nature of the trees, as a recipient of all this, it is up to me how I see it! I often hear the quote, "Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth, 'You owe me.' Look what happens with love like that. It lights the whole sky." – Hafiz. Why would the sun ask for anything in return if it is the nature of the sun to give light, and I think he doesn't know any better than to just shine. It is always up to the recipient, how that light is perceived! An acquaintance who is coming home for the first time goes "You must be very artistic! Love the feel of your house" – even as she stands at the doormat and looks around. I do not believe the difference it makes to me! I am surprised that my spirit is lifted, I am beaming and, I go around with a smile for the next two days. I hadn't realized how much I take myself for granted! More importantly, I realize how caught up I have been in worldly affairs this past year! I know people usually go, "it's the season to be jolly…fa la la la laaa la lah" – (did I get that right) during Christmas reminding us to be joyful. Don't tell me, you didn't try to hum it out as you read it! But I tell you what peeps, come spring, one doesn't have to be reminded of that at all. All we have to do is just look around – the beauty of nature in its bounty, asking us to come, celebrate and, be joyful. The birds and their tweets, the flowers and their colors, the winds and their swooshes, the fast-moving clouds and the quick showers – everything around…..it is up to the receiver to perceive the joy! I am so grateful that there are so many wonderful people in my life spreading a smile, a cheer, not to forget mother nature! May this Yugadi bring much joy and much joy to every one! Happy Ugadi everyone!