Mike's Notes: Gratitude

Posted by Mike Henriques


Sometimes trying to wrap it into an essay is too limiting. Sometimes it is helpful to sit down, list, and skip the culling into paragraphs. Yes, it’s messier, the untended list. It’s a bramble and kudzu filled garden, more difficult to navigate, but this week, following Scott’s blogs posts on thankfulness, I look to moments that have triggered my gratitude over the last seven days. I often worry that in our rush to the next, the whatever next, the beautiful rustle of these moments pass unnoticed. A mistake. We should let these good moments touch us. We should slow down, look around, and actually build our gratitude lists. It takes practice, sometimes work, but it yields moments that nourish hope and optimism, moments that ground the spirit. My list from the last seven days:


Student Moments:

K Leigh’s production of The Laramie Project. Nathaniel, Katie and the Nordic skiers back in the garage. Jared’s woodworking table, Finn’s painting, and Crowley’s metal work. Dylan’s Get Me to the Church. Jay’s “Superstitious.” Cope’s Danza, Danza, Fanciulla Gentile. Kevin’s guitar playing. Addie’s voice in the Diversity meeting. Mikala’s safety pins. Sam on the tenor sax. Hitch’s laughter and office visit. Sarah speaking at the trustee forum. Declan’s “this is where the important people are” tour. Fisher’s self-portrait. Jerry’s skateboarding next to Carr. The dance team videos and performance. Tommy and Andrew and the AEMS announcement. Alberto making Polar Swim. JT saying, “Why would I do that?”


Adult Moments:

Doug’s scheduling Zen and chocolate. Dave, Jill, and Kate hanging in the art office. Board members in the sauna. Alan’s Vulcan energy. Edna (of course). Ty, Caleb, Sandy, Nate, Barb, Ian and the challenge of not going back for seconds at meals. Or thirds. Seth’s helpfulness. Adam’s story of deer hunting. Scott’s thankfulness posts. Kurt explaining Cangiano heat. Fiona and Junior’s Community House meeting. Karin’s balance. Tom’s political passion. Sue’s political calm. Sandy’s directive to head straight to the pumpkin pie. Raz’s laughter. Jen’s patience. Karl’s wryness. Dave bricking the new evaporator. Diane’s talk before admin meeting. Jim and the surround sound moment. John’s serenity advice. Brook’s guitar playing. Terry’s reminders to love and stay centered. Patty’s brownies. Sarah’s advising. Kenny G’s smile and rattling keys. Drew chasing down Owen. Coco and Lori passing through Maxwell Thursday evening.

Emily Saef Turf.jpg

Photo: Emily Saef '17


Fire, rocks, steam in the sauna at Elbow pond. The sweat lodge for the inipi ceremony. The looping Blackwater River. Ragged Mountain’s ridgeline. The start shacks. Morning mist on the hay fields. The Sugar House. The return of the Stone Table. The super moon over campus. The Chapel’s creaking floors. The stage cleared for dance. The Wise set up for Jazz/Rock. The Brown Dining Common in late afternoon light. The weight room at night. The single track snaking up to the top of the ski hill, and the art, the art, the art all over the Meeting House snaking to infinite possibilities.

A week’s worth of images, all connected to Proctor and the community, each carrying good weight. It’s a partial list at best, but in sum representing a full harvest, a good harvest to start the Thanksgiving break.


Mike Henriques P'11, P'15

Proctor Academy Head of School

Click here to read our Week of Thankfulness blog posts!


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