My last day at the lake for the summer is always bittersweet. I’m so thankful for the ability to rent there for the whole summer and grateful for the time I’m able to spend there. However, it also means my mindset moves from relaxation mode to full-on maniacal teacher mode. Because I pack everything up, bring it home, unpack, and then start working within a 48 hour period, I often don’t take time to reflect nor do I take time to be thankful for what I’ve had.
Driving home from the lake Saturday, I was thinking how fleeting my time there had been. The line “Nothing gold can stay” paraded through my head. It is also the title of a poem by Robert Frost. I first became aware of the poem when I was 12 and read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. I loved the book and loved the poem. But I have to admit the cheesy rendition of it in the film version soured me a bit. However, the poem is appropriate for the way I felt as I drove home.
Nothing Gold Can Stay
by Robert Frost
Nature's first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf's a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.
At the end of each summer I feel very sad. Summer just doesn’t last long enough here in the Northeast. I so love swimming and it pains me when the end of the season arrives. As in Frost’s poem, “So dawn goes down to day/Nothing gold can stay.” No matter how much beauty we experience, how much awe Nature provides, how much we live and love, there is always something just around the corner.
Again, my interpretation is to grab what is there, get the best out of it and move on to be ready for the next thing to come along. So even though I might be sad, I have to admit I do love the autumn. Fall is a glorious time of year here with its vibrant colors, wood smoke-tinged air, crisp mornings and wonderful apples.
Someday I will enjoy the autumn in a leisurely fashion. I won’t dread Indian Summer because my classroom isn’t air conditioned. I will be able to do as I please and not fret over lesson plans, ridiculous NY State teacher evaluation plans and Common Core Standards. But for the present, I return to school tomorrow with the memories of this past summer at the lake firmly ingrained in my head and the excitement to meet this year’s crop of students.
(Oh yeah, it’s also football season very soon!)