Thursday, August 31, 2017

Dear August

You will be leaving us again, as you do each year and always with a bittersweet taste. When you go, Summer goes and summers for most of my life have been nothing short of glorious. It used to mean freedom from schedule and responsibility, permission to wander and amble and lie in the hammock and slowly savor an ice cream cone and wade in the water and settle down with a book or ten or sit on the front stoop and watch the fireflies or (later) travel to foreign lands and get a new look on life. Now it means something a bit different, although I haven’t wholly given up on such summer leisure. But more and more these days, it’s teaching adults and sharing everything I’ve spent my lifetime caring about and studying and developing and practicing and…well, living. And discovering that most of them are eager to receive it and it inspires/ affirms/ challenges/ tickles/ touches/ pleases them and we both end up happy we met.

So now September is an hour and ten minutes away and it’s a different world. My real New Year as I again become a teacher of children in a school setting, a setting far more fun and enlarging and satisfying and joyful than the schools I knew as a kid. But some things are universal—the excitement of kids gathered in one place, the constant surprises of the things like an 8-year old approaching you with her pet boa constrictor wrapped around her, the 9-year old who made you despair in the first class of kids today and their most basic grasp of etiquette and effort and respect and then astonished you in the second class with the sharp focus, attention, perseverance and accomplishment, walking out with a spontaneous “thank you.” Summer is lovely, but Fall has her own beauty and for this lifelong teacher, it has something to do with promise renewed and the adventure of learning with curious kids and still curious adults afoot.

Outside the class, no Fall colors from my childhood, but instead San Francisco’s fog dispersing and 87 degree heat predicted tomorrow. I suspect the fog will return like a sometimes welcomed and often unwelcomed return guest, but meanwhile, the promise of warm days lie ahead. And happily so.

And then the cultural events that cycle through every year—Opera in the Park, Comedy in the Park, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in the Park, the Mime Troup in the parks, Sea Shanty sings on boats, later Halloween and Day of the Dead. Not to mention the stellar line-ups for SF Jazz’s sixth season.

So August, thanks for another terrific month and September, good to see you again. On we go.

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