The sun is shining in the Pacific Northwest. We are regularly enjoying three to five consecutive days with blue skies, gentle breezes, trees in full leaf, and blooms celebrating nature’s pallet.
While nature is in full, feverish pitch, summer beckons and so does the temptation to ease away from the urgent press of students’ academic and social needs. There are many persuasive and historic reason for this annual downshift, yet this year the contrast between the lure of nature and the needs of students gnaws on my mind. As I plan the clean up and closing of my classrooms, I feel the tug of nature’s blossoming, birthing and bursting forth. I notice how disconnected school can feel from the primordial rhythms of life, and how desperately I want to reconnect them. It makes me wonder what will it look like when I do…
Perhaps summer would include weekly gatherings for me and my students in places that inspire – everywhere from local libraries to trail heads. Those eight weeks would be filled with our book clubs held in dappled sunlight beneath arching branches; movie-maker projects capturing action at the skate park, and dreams spoken out loud over glasses of lemonade. Nightly blogs would be written and read with star-gazing breaks built in. Shared morning cocoa and coffee would ease the complexity of making some sense of the news and its implications. Similes, metaphors and fodder for our pens would surface in pools, streams, lakes and water parks. I have to wonder, could summer look more like this if the rest of the school year did too?
Maybe, just maybe, giving in to temptation is the right thing to do.