It was two weeks ago yesterday that I last dipped a toe into the lake. What has transpired in those two weeks makes me weary just thinking back on it. The events are all positive but have occurred at breakneck speed, a speed which leaves me more than a little breathless and feeling old.
In the last ten days, I’ve met daily with almost 130 students. They bring so much energy into the classroom and drain me of most of mine. Still, their smiles and their youth give me so much in return. Yes, yes, there is aggravation involved but the level of it pales in comparison to the daily agita I experienced while working in the business world. I’m fortunate to find myself still looking forward to going to school each day, despite being in my 21st year of teaching. The kids possess magic and cast their spells on me each day.
In the last ten days, I’ve yearned for the lake with a ferocity that rivals a hungry lion. As a summer resident I catch a glimpse of one or two trees displaying early changes in color. It’s been suggested to me that I could easily head up there and wander about to experience the autumnal changes BUT I’m a purist (ok, so it’s a euphemism for stubborn) and want to have the full experience of owning my own camp and enjoying the seasonal changes in that regard.
In the last ten days the reality of my existence is that as soon as the last group of eager teenagers exits my classroom for the day, I begin to deflate like a giant hot air balloon. When I leave school at the end of my day, which contrary to the general public’s idea is not right after the students leave, my dignity is still fairly intact. It’s a great challenge to show the world that I’m still in charge of my own existence at that point, because in reality I’m hanging by a thread. As soon as I break the plane of the back door at home the rest of the air escapes from the balloon that is me and my energy level. I collapse into a chair, sofa or bed-whichever I have the energy to reach first-and drop into a power nap. Nap is a misnomer here because sometimes the “nap” lasts well over an hour. I’m then semi-inflated enough to handle my evening duties to be ready for the next day. Each year I inflate less and less. Hmmm, not a good sign.
In the last ten days I’ve come to terms with my desire to write versus the reality of the situation at hand. I must work to live the way I choose to live. I’m blessed to work at a job I love. I am aware of the energy and emotional drain of my job and how it leaves me. I know it’s the beginning of the school year and my body and mind will adjust. I’m cheered that my writing will begin anew in the next few weeks and I look forward to getting back to Quarry Lake to solve the mystery of the dead man and the monks who disappeared.