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.

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