This summer has been transformative. Unlike many other summers when I felt as though I blinked and I was back in the classroom, the last eight weeks I've felt so....present. Intentional. Deliberate. Filled with gratitude.
If you remember, the beginning of summer brought some beautiful unrest as I discovered what spending all day with a 16 month old looked like. Avery and I spent many memorable days with one another and it's time that I will forever cherish. During that time, my co-worker and I successful ran another year of our homegrown math camp- a project that we are both immensely proud of. There's something about seeing your students in the summer and outside of the classroom that's always fun and enlightening.
Avery and I took a trip to New York on the train, we visited special people that live close by, family and friends were able to visit us at our new(ish) home, and CP and I were fortunate enough to go on a plethora of dates thanks to some amazing babysitters. I also started a new venture, @mpikefitness, that continues to feel intimidating and uncharted but my passion is steering this ship and it has been a fun and exciting undertaking.
On top of all of these wonderful moments, I'd be remiss if I didn't also acknowledge that I've felt a change in my core. Not in my abdominal core, but the core of my soul. Frankly, this has taken me by surprise and it has taken a lot of patience and trust for me to acknowledge this. I'm really not quite sure how to even describe what I'm talking about and I worry that attempting to will be a potential disservice to myself (and perhaps even to you as a reader). On a very basic level, though, I've felt connected to people, places, and things in ways that I have not in the past. I'm gaining an appreciation for things that I once either didn't notice or chose not to. I'm putting new feelings under a microscope rather than shoving them out the door. I imagine that this sounds like a spiritual journey. Perhaps it is? I'm really not quite sure.
I guess what I'm trying to get across is that I've always tried to be honest in this space. I've shared my favorite toddler products and I've shared how my grief still haunts me from time to time. I live in a space of this Earth that is fascinating. There is a lot of love in this area, but there is a hustle and bustle that can present itself as gruff and unwilling to explore new possibilities. I already feel this as the seemingly natural chaos of a new school year begins. Pacing guides to be printed and combed through, papers to be graded, meetings to be attended, meals to be made, many emails to be replied to. What I love (!) about teaching, though, is the experience of seeing the world through a child's bright eyes. Those eyes as well as the eyes of my own offspring will continue to guide me on this new experience, no doubt, despite the demands of the job. I want to continue being open and honest with myself as this unknown territory becomes more charted. I want to give pause when pause is needed. More than anything, I want to continue being grateful for this life, for the opportunities to fall and to get back up, and for the chance to fill this Earth with love.
A perfectly imperfect photo of one of my favorite moments from this summer: watching the sunrise on the beach.
My favorite, favorite Natalie Merchant song that encapsulates this stage of my life pretty darn well. Can we also give pause for the beauty of this music video?