Just before Christmas break last year, a student was working in our library and asked if he could read to me a poem he wrote. Of course, I said yes.

Now I’ve never been too good with poetry. I envy the skillful wordsmith, loving verbal imagery almost as much as a fine painting or a breathtaking photograph. I don’t always ‘get’ the poet’s meaning, though.

That one gave me no difficulty. It was sweet and touching, and made me cry. The student printed a copy of the poem (on nice card stock) for me, and signed it.

He graduated in the spring, so I was quite surprised to see him in the library yesterday, as I didn’t think lived in the area. He sought me in our offices and, again, asked if he could read to me some of his poetry.

I spent the next half hour or so listening to this beautiful young man’s carefully crafted words. For one poem, he had to explain the meaning behind the rich imagery the words portrayed. One made me teary; another made me laugh.

He shared Gandhi quotes with me; I introduced him to the Dalai Lama.

We talked a bit about spirituality, and a bit more about truth.

In my mind, this young man represents all that is good about our world, though he won’t likely be one to make the evening news. I want to believe — I refuse not to believe — that he is not the exception but the rule. Although I can take little to no credit for his successes, that half hour with this gentle soul refreshed and uplifted my attitude as we anticipate our students’ return in 14 days.

They each have something to share us.