Sunday, July 30, 2017

Summer Slow

If you are a teacher, you know about the summer list. Not only are you going to lounge at the beach and read novels, hang out with friends and family, take trips to here or there, and binge-watch that series from Netflix everyone is raving about, but you are also going to clean the kitchen cupboards, organize the laundry room, sort through your drawers to get rid of all the clothes you no longer wear, plan an amazing unit for school start-up, collect math games, and redesign your classroom.  

Yet somehow, at least for me, summer time simply slips away. I’m not sure where it goes. A barbecue with friends. A weekend with family. An afternoon of shopping for a gift. My list is still long.

This morning the sky is tinted apricot; the ocean is bands of soft blue. I sit here and watch the colours change and I wonder if I’m missing something by always doing something.

I wonder, too, about our children. What do I do now, the students always ask me, when they have finished something early. Whatever you like, I say. But what, they ask. Do nothing, I say, and they stare at me, perplexed. I wonder if they even know anymore, in these days of always-on-now entertainment, about the rich possibilities of doing nothing. I wonder, too, if, in that slow creeping way of change that overtakes us unnoticed, I, too, will soon know nothing of doing nothing. Will I always, in those moments between doing something, pick up my phone and scroll through Facebook, text a friend, play word games on an app rather than sit and stare out a window? Will I miss something important?

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