Oh the melancholy that comes with the last day of summer vacation and, in my case, the last day of the sabbatical that took me to Finland in the first place. This is the day. Today. Tomorrow I reenter my high school and my role as a social studies teacher there. Tomorrow my sweet boy goes back to preschool. Today, for awhile at least, is our last day of leisurely mornings, Lou grinding the beans and pressing the start button on the coffee machine. It is the last day of endless books on the couch before breakfast, followed by cereal on the deck, wrapped in fleece blankets and wearing hats. It is the last day of bike rides to the beach and digging in the sand. It is the last day of late afternoon adventures fishing in the river or perusing books and movies at the library. It is the last day of assembly-line cooking, prepping dinner and cracking up as Lou’s eyes get super-wide as he holds a pound of raw cod in his hands.
Yes, all of these things can continue in the evenings and on the weekends. Yes, I know that as a teacher I am lucky that I have this schedule. Yes, the circumstances that took us to Finland were rare. Over the last year, we have been given the gift of time and it has been such a precious gift. We have been given the gift of calm, more precious yet.
We will continue to do everything mentioned above and it will be more of a challenge. It will be more of a challenge because of schedules, errands, meetings, traffic, American life in general. The challenge is to find the time to find the calm. If Finland taught me anything, is that I am up for it.