When the Great Tree Falls…

When the Great Tree Falls…

In the relaxed ambience of her environment
Her cozy inviting offices
Her unostentatious, orderly premises
BGSU’s heart beats faster
Every time she remembers her

She who had
The patience
Of a knife sharpener with a blunt blade
The skill
Of a blacksmith whose wrought iron testifies of their dexterity
The understanding
Of a doting father
The care
Of a mother to her newborn
The counsel
Of a guru, a mentor, a teacher

This was Esther Clinton’s hallmark
The anchor on which
She held fast
The boat in which
Her students and mentees rode
Through the turbulent waters of academia

From her cup of knowledge
I drunk
Her steady, inspiring guidance as my walking stick
I trudged
By the lampstand of her tender, loving firmness
I learnt
On her nourishing foresight and insight
I throve
Out of the trenches of unknowing
She pulled me

Am I…
Are we not
Like the birds in the Swahili proverb
That fret when the great tree falls
Now that Esther
Breaths no more?

The accompanying photo is of the late Dr. Esther Clinton and her husband, Dr. Jeremy Wallach. The couple was instrumental in my master's studies and in the writing of my MA thesis.

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