There is no easy way for me to sit still, but somehow, after months sheltering, I am doing slightly more of that, daydreaming right back to fabulous memories, like this girl’s trip I took to France two years ago. Concocted and plotted during the winter months and executed during the heat wave called July, four of us converged to explore Paris, Aix-en-Provence, Cassis, Arles, Eze and Nice. We delighted in the architecture and art and space and sea and trains and food and drink and each other. I invite you to lazily daydream through my photo story, and as you do, imagine roaming with pure freedom once again.
Most mornings when I first open my eyes there are a few glorious seconds before I remember COVID 19 or the world in stages of lockdown or the sinking worry or the inherent isolation that edges us all inward, but then I do remember, and those disparaging thoughts instantly deluge any happiness I felt looking out the bedroom windows and wondering what joy this summer day might bring. In blended hope and resignation I attempt to lift myself out of despair through daily rituals. Onto the mat, moving through Yoga with Adriene, generally is reminder enough, but if I still can’t shake the gloom, there is Ryan Heffington to dance me into the light; if all fails, there is the unmistakable natural beauty surrounding me, bringing undeniable gifts in the field’s wildflowers or our household gardens or the backdrop of the majestic mountains or any number of placid lakes which are all blessings I can’t even count but perhaps can share with you all today. I invite you to stroll along. Stop and peer up. Take a breath. Dive in with me.
Often I end my school year on a high, feeling each student’s gain as my own, each of their successes intrinsically linked to my doing. Well, perhaps that is a bit egotistically, but I do work very very hard all year long, meeting students where they are, and helping them make steps toward their goals, so often I celebrate their favorable results. Equally true is my sense of loss when they don’t hit the mark.
But this year, there is no meter or measurement that could calculate as it once did. While in dismissal, so many students worked through remarkable challenges to attend google meets whether on their beds, on a Spring-time sunny deck, sitting in isolation while in noisy kitchens, or even driving in a car, and often times with confusion and worry etched into their faces. Yet together we moved into unknown territory to find meaning and hope and the value in learning, despite uneven odds. There is little to discuss about school prior to March, as what followed was so unprecedented, but all the work I did (and teachers around the globe did) to keep students’ trust, to reenergize their enthusiasm, and to maintain consistent pathways for them to work remotely, were crafted and put solidly in place, and that speaks volumes. Students, many who were at first melancholy over everything they lost, gained strength from each other, from this new community, and worked diligently until the end. I am proud of their integrity and resolve.