There is nothing quite like summer in Vermont and this has been an exceptionally delicious one. I’ve witnessed good friends marry, hiked mountains (Scott I hear you laughing out there in Colorado at what I consider a mountain), harvested endless amounts of carrots, watermelons, squash, tomatoes, etc. to the beautiful backdrop of Lords Hill at Wellspring Farm, kayaked lakes and camped to the sounds of loons, made batches of zuchinni bread, picked berries and made jam, gone dancing and laughed endlessly, hit a number of RBIs in softball and missed a ton of grounders at 2ndbase, drank lots of good beer and eaten an enormous amount of
fresh food, played tennis, sat quietly and listened to the peepers in late spring and the crickets and the birds and to my heart, trying to learn to just be. Just be here now. I’ve cried a lot at struggles I’ve had with people who are extremely dear to my heart because of misperceptions, miscommunications, desires and ideas that do not see eye to eye, I’ve begun to overcome my fear of public speaking with a story told at Jen Dole’s Extempo. (click the link to hear my story. listen to both stories if you have time: I got honorable mention and my good friend Julia got top honors) I played golf for the first time, a beautiful course in Provincetown along the ocean and caught my first striped bass (31 inches and delicious). I’ve made new friends and lost hold of a few along the way, I’ve opened to the word “yes.” Ahhh, summer in Vermont.
And now the light begins to soften and fade earlier in the day and I find myself enjoying the way it subtly slants as it brushes the tops of trees at dusk. The air is cooler which means cold fingers while harvesting lettuce in the early morning but it’s also when we get to watch the mists gradually rise from the fields and up from the hills to reveal glorious fall like days. It is somewhat bittersweet that I leave now, my favorite season just upon us. Transition is all around me. Teacher friends are back at work, former students entering their first weeks of college and I now turn toward a new journey around the world. I anticipate, because yes, I’ve done this before and yet I acknowledge how much I have to learn. New students. New experiences. I’ve had comments tossed at me, such as “You are going to the same places? You are reading the same books?” with a tone that implies, why would you do this again if so much is the same. And I want to say back, “You are going to the same office again tomorrow? You are sleeping with the same woman?” How can there not be new things to learn every day? This is one of the greatest things about my job. During training Robin comments, ‘If you are not learning every day you are not doing your job. Your number one responsibility is to learn every day.’ How many can claim to work with people who hold to this value so strongly? As educators, how can we not? We are though, learning every day. I just wonder if we are actually paying attention…to our interactions with others, to our thought patterns, to the world around us, to what we read, to what we hear and see.
I wanted to take a moment and thank everyone who has welcomed me into their homes and let me sleep on couches and in guest rooms, who have offered me food and drink and have supported me emotionally during this transition (both near and far)…you know who you are. THANK YOU!! Leaving is so much easier knowing that this amount of love safeguards me around the world, that this community awaits when I return.
I hope you will all try to find a way to stay in touch with me over the next 7 months and keep me updated on your whereabouts and happenings. You know how much I LOVE a good story, or a good mock-reality video, or a thoughtful letter, or a silly card, or some chocolate, or photos of you…(hint hint)
I depart on Sunday September 9 to Ecuador with 18 students and 2 co-leaders. Until then I have my cell phone and I will have internet access most of the time. Looking forward to hearing from you along the way…xoxo