This has been an odd start to my September. For the last decade or so, the beginning of September was all about the new school year at hand: committing new student names to memory, tweaking the first day of school plans, making minor adjustments to our classroom space, and buying up the hard-to-resist new books and supplies. The focus of Septembers past was Room 202 and the life that would happen there in the year to come.
This September, there is no one, particular focus. I am thinking and planning for many things:
*organizing much needed repairs and improvements to our old farmhouse
*continuing to research the work of shepherding and care taking sheep, and preparing the barn and pastures for the arrival of sheep next summer
*organizing trips to visit my aging parents, in their nineties now, and far away in London. It is tricky to care for people who are fiercely independent and yet clearly in need of assistance – and yet, there I am, and this was the intention behind leaving the classroom and the wrought-in-stone school calendar in the first place
*an upstate New York winter, in a place that is, quite literally, in the middle of nowhere.
*writing: about teaching, about this new life, and the stories of my life and of my invention.
It’s a different kind of focus to celebrate…but celebrate I do.