The Three Kings have come and gone, the baby Jesus lies in the manger wondering what atrocities people will do in his name this year and it’s time to take down Christmas in the house. And so the old fragile ornaments are all snuggled in their cardboard beds for another year, the live Norfolk pine has been stripped of lights and beads and ornaments and brought back into the lightwell, the front and back windows are no longer framed by lights. January is on the move.
Time for some reminders of Martin Luther King and in my old school, the moment for the dreaded (but somehow needed) report cards. But not for me! I’m still dreaming each night of teaching, either the kids at school or teachers in Orff workshops, so some part of me clearly is not done. But report cards, staff meetings, carpool? No more! (Though I actually liked carpool and used to like staff meetings when they were run by the teachers.)
Today I resume as the once-a-week music teacher of my granddaughter’s class on Zoom (but them in Portland), next week will be both the alumni sing and the neighborhood sing and next weekend the second of my three-workshop series for teachers that I’ve done every year since 1976. The next weekend is teaching in Orange County without actually going to Orange County, the following to Italy without the pleasures of fresh pasta, gelato and my vivacious Italian friends. Zoom will continue to rule the roost for awhile.
The first magnolia tree announced its blossoms in the Arboretum, the San Francisco outdoor restaurants are still closed while the virus keeps wreaking its havoc, the sun helps warm the chilled air and the days are already lengthening. I remain confused why sometimes I feel like a god at the piano who can play anything that comes to mind and other times, I hit that wall that asks, “Why bother?” Four different books have whispered to me and I keep vowing to choose one and get to work, but no Nicholas Brothers tap dance is more interesting than the way I keep avoiding that commitment.
Some part of my understands that there are seasons out my window and also seasons of the soul and one is wise not to plant in hard ground or build fires on summer nights. Trust that the next needed invitation will come and that my proven capacity to follow it to some level of satisfying conclusion will be reliable yet again. Meanwhile, I keep walking where my feet lead me and await the next operating instructions from beyond. And even when I don’t know where it will lead, my new favorite sign-off holds true: