“You love to write, Paula”, the surprised voice of the teacher, Miss Délia, from the second grade, entered my ears and nested in my heart. That is my first writing memory. 

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I was only eight. It was the month of May, and Miss Délia had asked each student to write a two-line poem to honor our mothers. I spent a few minutes looking at the blank paper and listening to some of the suggestions my teacher gave from table to table.

I didn’t ask for help. I took the pencil and started thanking my mother for the sleepless nights she spent taking care of me. I lived 700 km away from her, and, of course, longing for her was a powerful fuel for my creativity.

When the words stopped coming out of me, the two lines had turned into a full-page, front, and back.

I raised my hand to indicate I had finished, and the teacher was amazed by the depth of my poem. Days later, I was called to the principal’s office, where I met my aunt, with whom I was living at the time. The school wanted to publish my piece in the state newspaper.

Miss Délia would be happy to know that she planted in that eight-year-old girl this beautiful seed, the love for writing. Miss Délia’s statement guided my professional choices and has borne fruit.

Inside me, I always carry a verse of gratitude to Miss Déália. If she ever doubted her vocation as a teacher, I hope she’ll know that she’s done a fine job.

ReadFlowers from Greece, Paula Brukmuller‘s book