Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Ant at the Edge of the Page

Summer has arrived. Though still two days of meetings, cleaning and report cards, we sailed through the calm and turbulent waters of the intense last week of school and sent another group of 8thgraders off, each one of whom is apparently destined to change the world for the better. According to their teachers’ lovely graduation speeches. They’re probably just hoping they get through the next few years without too many pimples and such, but we have plans for them to transform our sorry country into the place worthy of its vision. And with a clear complexion.

Meanwhile, the next day dawns and blessedly, it’s a warm, windless San Francisco day worthy of the word “summer.” Though I still have my list to prepare for six weeks away of teaching and traveling, I treated myself to a few moments in the backyard and wrote in my journal. While writing, an ant walked across the top of the page and it was a good sign that I was in that summer-frame-of-mind where I took some time to watch it. Back and forth it went and each time it reached the edge, halted as if wondering what to do next. And then turned around and walked to the other page’s edge for a repeat performance. Is there some metaphor there for me?

For this time next year, Fates willing, I will have walked to the edge of the last page of my 45-year epic novel at The San Francisco School. How will it feel to step out of that book and onto the ground of the next possibility? We shall see. But meanwhile, many more steps to take in this last Chapter, starting with time this summer to sit and watch blank ants wander over white pages.

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