The first day of return to school is often a shock to the system. No matter how much you prepare for it, the fact is that you are jolted out of the long sleep of ten or so weeks of summer. The signal of change is unmistakable as all the lights that had been flashing yellow over the past week or so suddenly change to green… it’s time to move forward and meet the early waking hour again.
There is a certain stillness about the world in the new waking hour that I am glad to welcome back. There is a return to a routine, a structure, a familiar purpose that I am glad to return to. And it isn’t just me. The entire household, including the puppies, seem to have been jolted into the ‘return to school’ mode.
Like many mornings this summer, it’s humid, warm, gray and overcast today. It doesn’t quite feel like autumn yet, but our bodies and the trees outside seem to be ready for it. We are ready to welcome the change in color and the chill in the air that makes you clasp your hands around the mug of tea a bit tighter as you first walk out onto the deck to check what kind of weather is approaching from the west.
She is more than ready, though. The excitement of a new grade, new teachers, new subjects, new friends and much more has her bubbling over with enthusiasm. We take our “first day” photos at the top of the steps overlooking the lake — her puppy joins in and they both enjoy some special moments. And then, just like that we’re off for the ride to school.
It’s one of those days where I wish the car ride was a bit longer. She is talking a hundred miles an hour about the subjects and her new teachers – Math, History, Chemistry and more. It’s all pouring out and I’m happy to watch the resumption of flow that had been seemingly at a standstill for the past few weeks.
As I drop her off with a quick goodbye, she has a quickness in her step that I haven’t seen in a while. As much as she looks forward to the beginning of summer every June, she looks forward to her return to school in August even more. It is a sign that the village is raising her well, and that return to school is much more than just the academics, the sports, the extra-curricular and such.
How does all this connect to our inner spiritual life?
Return to school can be a reminder of an embrace of possibilities, adventures, and detours that await us when we are dunked into the alphabet soup of human beings and their variant personalities. It is an invitation to remain young at heart, to embrace every new day with freshness, curiosity and preparedness for the possibilities that will unfold.
We are ready for our return to school. We’ve been ready for a while. A new inner awakening is just a sunrise or moonrise away for us. Let’s simply choose to return to it with childlike joy and delight!
P.S. Join us for our weekly chat on Twitter – Sunday Aug 22 at 9amET / 630pm India in #SpiritChat. Bring your open mind and heart. I will bring the tea and cookies and school syllabus 🙂 – @AjmaniK
Gary Gruber (@garyrgruber) said:
As you may re-member, I tend to shy away from returning which suggests going back. I prefer the word “starting” as something new, a new year in this case. I know it is also good to return to the familiar where we are both excited and comfortable, in our happy place. Your daughter is also helping to raise the village. And, I love this:
“an embrace of possibilities, adventures, and detours that await us when we are dunked into the alphabet soup of human beings and their variant personalities.”
Hope to see you tomorrow as we gather in this community of learners.
Thanks, Kumud, for your good thoughts and words.
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Thank you, Gary, for the reminder about the use of the word ‘return’ ~ and I agree that in the context of school, it really is the invitation to a ‘new beginning’… after the very second day, I learnt from her about Kant and his principles… so yes, she is raising the village… and me 🙏🏽😇