Sunday, March 11, 2012

of life, words, and fear

Two more weeks until Smokey and I leave for Louisiana. Can. Not. Wait. We’ve been planning a road trip, but I’m not sure now. We may fly. Either way, hurry up! I’ve met the rest of his family; it will be the first time I’ve met his mom and dad. Very nervous and very excited about that. Mostly, just excited to get away with him for eight days!
It was so great to get back from Outdoor Lab. I always enjoy that week, but by Wednesday, I’m always ready to get back home. Combine that with missing Smokey, you can imagine how much I was ready to come back.
Another happy note? The time changed! I love this time change. Having the sun out later makes me so very, very happy. I just love it. I wish it would stay this wall all year round.

My blogs have really sucked lately. I’m either worrying, stressing, or blabbering about nothing. Which also is how the writing is going on the second book of the fantasy series. I thought getting confirmation on publishing would make it so easy to sit down and write (and it for sure is a great feeling), but I am terrified. Kinda going through writer’s block. Even in my blog. It’s also been two years since I’ve really written anything besides queries and such, so I’m way out of practice. Again, it comes back to everything of any worth is terrifying. Writing. Getting published. Being in a relationship. Giving my heart to someone. Being an uncle. Walking into class everyday. I’m not really sure why fear has to be at the heart of the things that bring the most joy, but it always seems to be there. Smokey says I’m one of the bravest people he knows with all the fear I face, him included. At times, I think he’s right. I see all the fear and I always push forward and/or hold on to hope (which is always the scariest thing of all). However, it often feels like cowardice to me. I think I’m more afraid than almost anyone I’ve ever met. Even as I have hope in the midst of my fear/s, I can’t help but wonder if fear is the opposite of faith… it would be nicer to have less fear, even if it meant I was less ‘brave.’ Even as I type that, however, part of screams out to not have that desire met. What if the absence of fear equates to the absence of joy? Joy, in and of itself, is a risk. And risk breeds fear. Therefore, by choosing joy am I choosing fear---must I choose fear to have joy?

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

before the snowfall

Outdoor Lab
Day 3

It really is so beautiful up here. I spent the few, very few, minutes I had without the kids yesterday sitting on a dock, my feet dangling over a frozen pond. Peaceful. Lovely. Bigger than I. Some of that time, I simply sat and just let myself be part of that magic. The rest I prayed. Some of thanksgiving, some of grief, and some of fear—tears of supplication and exhalation.
Got to talk to Smokey over the landline for about half an hour before bed. Wow, what a difference that made—so wonderful.
It’s fun to see the sixth graders, most of whom, by this time in the year are all so grown up. Very worldly. Many having lost their innocence, in many areas. Many way too smart and enlightened to need a teacher, or to believe they don’t have the entire world figured out. Up here, for many, the first away from home, they show their true age. With the wonder as they discover the mysteries of nature, the beauty of our world. With the fear of being away from home. I had a boy last night who was so worked up about missing home that he was vomiting (I wonder what that emotional turmoil feels like…). What helped? Story time with Mr. Witt. (Turns out, I do a great Lorax voice.) That may be my favorite moment so far. Just watching the story soothe, comfort, and ‘hug’ the child back into a state of peace. (I really do love my job.)
It’s scary that this may not be here much longer—that it barely was here this year. The amount of pay cuts, the amount of lay-offs, the amount of cut funding for the districts and schools… I’ve never seen such an impactful time for kids in such a manner. I love it as an adult. I can’t even fathom what it could have done for me as a sixth grader.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Labbing It

Outdoor Lab time again. Day two.
Already tired. Excited for coffee!

I’d kinda forgotten how much I actually like being up here. It is exhausting, but peaceful and beautiful. My only real drawback is that I manage to get about fifteen seconds of phone service a day, and I live attached to my phone. Of course, the biggest drawback is missing Smokey. I’m sure it’s good for us. I’m sure the time will fly. Whatever. I don’t like being away. However, it will make it doubly nice when we see each other on Friday. Then, eight straight days on a road trip back to his hometown in Louisiana when spring break arrives. Can’t wait!!!
Yesterday, there was a silver fox mere feet from me. His name is Shadow. They call them silver, but he is actually black with a white tip at his tail. He was beautiful. And huge. For a second, I thought it was a small coyote. I love those moments. Moments where you literally can’t think of anything else. For those fifteen seconds, you are enveloped by the beauty around you, the magic of the living things that inhabit our world. Those moments are few and far between for me, when my brain is able to focus on only the present instant in time. It’s such a sigh a relief for my psyche.

Now off to face a horde of children. Good thing they often provide those moments too. Whether it be moments of childlike beauty or the more frequent times of emotional distress—all else fades for the briefest moment in time.