"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Sunday, September 29, 2013


One Year Ago
The forecast for Randle has not changed in the last several days, except to perhaps get gloomier. The chance of rain sits at 100%, the temperature below 60. Yesterday there was a flood watch through Monday. This morning there is a winter storm watch in place for Monday and Tuesday.

We leave this afternoon for outdoor school on the mountain where Randle is the closest town. It's bad enough that I lose this entire weekend to the preparation and departure, but the rain splatting outside my window taunts with the promise of what the next week holds: hours of being cold and damp, days of nothing but brown food (iceberg lettuce the only green food, and that only for one meal), no time off, homesick kids smelling like wet puppies.

It's so easy to be optimistic and spiritual when the sun shines. Even when life slides sideways, if the air is warm and golden, and I know I can come  home to dry clothes, a good meal, and the comfort of my own bed, hope always wins the day. I'm having a really difficult time being sunny about this coming week.

I've done what I can to prepare. New rain gear, including new boots with owls on them. Apples and healthy snacks. Extra bedding. Until the rain, I was even looking forward to this year's camp. Mostly because this will be the first one I'm not in pain, or sick. And for the chance to spend time in the woods with my class, with whom I fall more in love every day.

My sense of dread is as heavy as wet clothes. Walt's reassurances and offers to help only annoy. If there was any graceful way to not go, I would choose it.

But there's no way out that allows me to be the person I want to be. If I can somehow find of my sense of adventure, trust that I can not only endure but also enjoy, face each moment as it arrives rather than deciding (knowing, even) ahead how bad it will be—and there is the key. Not just to the coming week, but to everything.

I don't know what gifts the next few days are going to bring. I do know they're not going to be what I'd pictured, or wanted. I don't know where I'll find the grit to be cheerful and happy and to laugh at the misery that will surely try to dominate. There's even a chance I won't. And maybe that fear is the root of my dread.

A Pema Chodron quote is pinned to the bulletin board to my right: "You are the sky. Everything else—it's just the weather." I set out into this day, and into the week, claiming the sky beyond the weather, and choosing to be grateful for the opportunity to do just that.


My life so far said...

I hope it's better than you imagine. I still remember my week when I was grade six, I hated it. I am terribly shy and have a difficult time with change.

Take care and fingers crossed. Deb

Sandi said...

Yes, Deb, you ARE the sky. You are the bright spot, the contagious laugh, the twinkling smile, the giver of hugs, the comfort of home to those away from home.

The kids will love every drippy moment, because they will have you to themselves, and will remember and crow about this miserably wet week. They survived; along with the teacher who loves them and made what could have (should have) been awful, the shining spot of fifth grade.

They will always remember you, and how you made them feel . . . loved and worthy.

I know this, because I have received those gifts from you so many times.

Have the best of the wettest week of outdoor school, ever! :)

Linda Myers said...

Yes, Deb, they will have you to themselves. If the sun were out you'd have more of an idea what to expect. This week will be some kind of gift.

DJan said...

What Sandi wrote just blossomed in my heart, and I know it will in yours. Coming up: a pretty rocky road ahead, but one that will hopefully turn out differently than you envision. My hugs and prayers are headed your way. :-)

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

I totally understand your dread, but I love what Sandi wrote and I hope that becomes your reality this week. There is much to be gained when a group works together to surmount an obstacle. Keeping fingers crossed!

kario said...

I love that you continue to struggle to find the bright spots. I predict that something amazing will come of this trip, for you and the children, and your heart will be open enough to find gratitude for it once you're home - warm and dry.

Amber said...

Good luck and lots of love!!


T. Powell Coltrin said...

"It's so easy to be optimistic and spiritual when the sun shines" speaks volumes to me. It may just be what we do in the darkness that determines our character and shows our stamina. I need to think on this as I lay in my bed of depression.

I hope your day in the wild :) goes well.

Dee said...

Dear Deb, Pema Chodron always speaks to me too. I can see you as sky--vast and broad, deep and tender--arching over the world you touch with your gentleness and understanding. And the sky is the moment. Peace.

Sally Wessely said...

By now, you are in the middle of Saturday evening at the outdoor experience. I wonder how it is going for you. I hope that things are dry and not too cold. I hope that you keep telling yourself that "its just weather." I hope outdoor school gives you a blessing and a surprise (a good one). I know the kids will be so happy to spend this time with you. I know they will know they are loved by you. And I bet you find many treasures to write about in the adventures you all are having.