Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sunscreen and Barbecue

Today was field day. The whole middle school took buses to a school in CT and essentially ran silly all day long. The smell of sunscreen and barbecue was in the air, the sounds of screaming, laughing students as well as birds never noticed in the City, the taste of the deliciously varied potluck pieced together by the faculty while the kids had burgers and dogs, the vision of kids actually having room for their bodies and being free, the feel of sunshine and long stretches of grass...

When I got back home it was time for liturgy with the community and songs were played, I closed my eyes and bits of the day replayed, much like an old home movie--more staccato than digital. The joyous face of a teacher friend whom I taught to juggle this morning, the sounds of the kids practicing their Prize Day song on the bus, one kid reading to me a poem she had just written about her dreams, the laughter of another teacher friend while she told a story, a kid showing me a new opening for juggling while she tossed in the third ball and her being so proud of teaching me something, trading puns with another teacher while seated at table for lunch...

I am reminded of a Madeleine L'Engle poem about Mrs. Noah...the bulk of the poem is her lament at thinking she finally had a moment to herself now that her sons are raised and off but noooooo..."Here we are jammed in this Ark...the animals take up almost all the room and Noah and I are crowded together with Shem, Ham, and Japeheth, their slovenly wives and noisy children, and nowhere to go for a moment's peace..." and finally, after arguing with her lazy daughters-in-law who do nothing and only cause dirty laundry and want to have it washed every time Mother Noah turns around, "that silly dove Noah is so fond of came back with an olive twig on his beak...We've landed! At last! Now we can get back to normal and if I put something where it belongs it will stay there and I can clean up this mess and get some sleep at night and--Noah! Noah! I miss the children."

I will miss them well as many of the faculty and staff...crazy and chaotic as it is and trying as it can be on occasion. Yes, I will miss it.

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