I feel a bit like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland these days; hurried, forgetting a few things, and just as often following my own steps until I realize I am running in circles. Adequately so, you could say. It’s the beginning of the school year, which means planning, more planning, sorting through books and ideas, sharpening handfuls of pencils and searching for erasers at the bottom of drawers. Jumping knee-deep in phone and in-person chats with our learning consultants, checking multiple mail boxes regularly… A word that does not exist in the summer dictionary other than to accurately describe our evenings spent on the river banks. Regularly showing up there, self-respecting river rats that we are.
We are to transition (in harmony, if possible,) from those long-drawn summer nights when you fill the time laughing, playing, chatting, hiding behind sand castles you build on the river banks so the setting sun won’t find you, so you can keep going forever.
The autumn chill started swallowing those bright summer nights, cricket chirps and all, a couple of weeks ago. You see it clearer with each year passing by. Time flies. You know there is no running away from it, but in knowing that, you also learn to hug each day a bit closer and take a deeper breath each morning. You learn to take off your shoes so your feet can dance on the dewy grass, you learn to silence everything for a few precious moments; eyes closed, only bird songs should be allowed to breach the silence.
We will transition then. It’s an adventure, yes, another stage in our growing to know more of the world and place ourselves with grace somewhere in it. Grace, gracefulness, gratefulness… It’s how I find my balance. Brackets of gratefulness opening and closing each day (most days?) and each season, each year. Forgetfulness, forgiveness, learning what being human means, that’s also on our curriculum.
Doubt pinches me, it does. Am I going to know how to do it all? Is our learning adventure good enough to feed their growing, curious minds? The whole picture is dazzling and nauseating at once. I won’t go there. Instead, I go the old way: one day at a time. Yes, many will ask me once again, and again, if the boys get enough socializing (yes, they do) and if this is really learning (yes, it is, just jump into a conversation with them,) and if they are missing out on life of any other kind (no, but ask them?).
So it is then. We will put up our sails and ride the waves. Some will toss us every which way, some will downright maroon us on some forgotten shores from where we will find our way back to where we can see the stars again. And some will lift us all the way up from where we will gaze and see past the limitations. Learning is an adventure; a door that never closes.