I tried the rambling around outdoors yesterday. What I 'discovered' was 28 degrees with a stiff wind out of the north. I came back inside and watched a couple of movies, washed dishes, played around on the internet a little, then went to town to my book club #2. A good time was had by all…except Charlotte, who has managed to break her foot and this was the last event of a long day. Ouch. After our discussion she and I went to a little coffeehouse for a chat. It was there, at the counter while ordering, that the blessing I so needed finally caught up with me.
The girl taking our order had been a student of mine years and years ago. She not only remembered me fondly but especially remembered one song which she loved. We reminisced about some of the programs we had done and how much she liked them. Ah, a little unasked for affirmation that the ripples continue to roll outward from love you have shared. What an infusion of joy she was to me. Thanks Amanda, blessings on your head my dear.
My dad also called me for a friendly catch-up on everyone and then I turned on my computer and lo and behold! there were loving, supportive comments from friends wishing me well, virtual hugs if you like. It is unbelievably difficult for the turtle, having retreated into its shell, to see the flowers which bloom on every side. I know this. I know this too when I am inside the shell, but seem powerless, at those times, to look out.
One of the basic needs to people, most people, is to belong to a group. The workplace is a second family of sorts for many of us. I know many, many teachers who, after retiring, become unmoored from that family and suffer the loss of it. The glue which holds the teaching family together, however, is our shared concern for the students whose lives we touch. Apart from the students we may share very little and so lose ourselves in our separate everyday paths that often do not cross. This has happened to me more times than I care to remember. Friends who were my closest contacts at school drift away into retirement and I rarely see them. This leads to chance meetings in the grocery or hardware store where we stand for an hour or more, catching up. I'll take it. Most women need friendships, we need the support of other women and their willingness to listen.
Today the storm arrives, if you believe the weathermen. It already feels snowy outside. The air is crisp and I find myself glancing up at the sky, gauging their color, even though nothing is happening except the cold at this moment. Soon. I must go out and fill the feeders for the many bright birds that decorate my sleeping trees. They are calling to me to begin. The cats too sit looking in the window, urging me to fill their bowls. They know.
I am off. Wanted you to know I am in a better place today, with your help and some time. Stay warm and well, if you are able. Wander past your bookshelf. Perhaps something will call your name and you can escape into an adventure into the past, the future or another world altogether. That is what I plan to do.