It’s that time of year where we end our summer and begin the school year. I was going to put this all into some kind of agricultural metaphor, but there was no appropriate analogy for fertilizing with manure. Which is probably a good thing as this is the first school year where we feel properly refreshed and prepared to start teaching again.
Though the end of summer is always lamentable, we spent our last evening dining on Thai food and sharing a latte (makes us sound fancy!) together on an outside patio in beautiful downtown Putnam, CT to enjoy the calm before the storm together. The weather has been on the mild side, so much so that it felt closer to fall weather, which we both cannot contain our excitement for, as it is our favorite season and especially enjoyable in New England. We admired the people, architecture, lighting, live music (the one-man band did a cover of the The Who’s “Going Mobile;” really, how often do you hear that one?) and about every aspect of life that we could.
On our drive home, we listened to music (as we always do) and didn’t say much (rare), but something about the sound, feel, stars, and Heidi leaning against me made me comment on not wanting to ever make it home and simply continue in perpetual motion heading to somewhere familiar, but equally unknown. Again, I’m thinking of my failed analogy. I don’t think farmers have an equivalent feeling. Drought?
This all sounds so serious and corny and amateurishly poetic, not at all the way I want to start the blog off (for those of you who have made it this far I apologize and promise to be better), but suffice to say the evening balanced our sense of appreciation, excitement, sentimentality, and nostalgia in an appropriately satisfying way. It’s hard to capture those fleeting moments of perfection in life where it all comes together for a time, so forgive my attempt to paint an abstract portrait. It was just one of those nights before months of worrying about teaching ingrain themselves in our thought patterns: what we said or how we handled a situation with an individual or group, sorting and planning a lesson, hoping the copy machine is unoccupied, relying on all manner of electronic devices at home and school, debating how many times to check our email, the fragility of our immune systems and bodies, and all other manner of concern.
Summer is the only time it’s possible for us to live in the present tense. This is an observation; it’s not a complaint or grievance, as some people don’t ever even get that opportunity. But, if you can, let yourself once in a while. It feels surreal by being exceedingly real. Argh! More poetry. Put more simply, we felt lucky to be who we are and where we were for an evening. There’s no better way to acknowledge the end and the start of any cycle.