The time of year when the air fills your spine with a shiver, when three-pm strolls become the norm, and when frost covered windshields remind you to climb out of bed a few minutes earlier tomorrow. It's the time of year when scarves become functional, not just fashionable, and when knitting needles and yarn cover the couch. It's the time of year when pups hibernate under blankets and holiday music pours out of every speaker. And it's the time of year when nights with hot cups of tea and heavy quilts soothe the soul.
As the holiday season creeps in, I'm thinking of the perfect most thoughtful gifts for family, and the perfect celebrations for friends. I'm thinking of crafts and games for seven-year-olds that make the wait for santa to climb down their chimney a little more bearable. And I'm thinking a lot about what's to come in the next few months.
While I am excited to spend the holiday season with my students, I know that these could be the last few months I have to work in my school. The teacher I am replacing may choose to come back after the New Year, leaving me again without a position doing the job I love. The very thought of it leaves my stomach in knots. And while I try to be sure I have a plan if I leave- a job, going to school, running off with the gypsies... I am also trying to be sure I have a plan if I get to stay- lessons plans, projects, and "fitting it all in." This eternal limbo state is getting to me again. I don't want to dive into my future one way or another, but really both take a great deal of planning- and I may not know which way things are going until the very last minute.
This time of year makes me not only think about what I will be doing in the coming months, but also who I'll be going through it all with, and while it's hard to admit I am starting to fell a little distant, a little lonely. I have some friends who I see and talk to every single day. Others who I catch up with on the weekends, and some that I don't see or speak to nearly enough. I feel like while I am giving some friendships my undivided attention, others are falling by the wayside and it's frightening to think that I might be letting myself drift away from them. And most of my friends have a someone that they get to spend this festive time of year with, and I have to say I'm a little jealous. I want to reach out, and bring these people into my life to fill the places they are missing from, but I want to be sure I'm making time as well as room for them; and with my crazy life right now I'm not sure there is enough room on my plate for more.
The other night I made myself a cup of tea and pulled out my heaviest, warmest quilt. The tea was hot and steaming in my hands while I waited for it to cool. Tea has a perfect drinking temperature; it tastes best when it is hot, but not so hot that it burns, and when it gets even just a little bit too cool it leaves a funny taste on your tongue. It's hard to decide when the best time is to take that first sip, to drink the cup at just the right temperature. If you take the sip too soon, you will scorch your mouth. While you still have a chance to try again for that perfect temperature, the rest of the cup will go down with a scratch from burning your tongue and throat the first time you sipped. But, if you wait too long the tea will be too cool, leaving that bitter taste in your mouth as you drink it down. If you are careful enough, and a little bit lucky- you just might take that first sip at the perfect moment, the moment when the tea is still hot but not so hot that it burns. And oh, what satisfaction there is in sipping at just the right moment.
I feel like I am waiting for that just right moment in a lot of places in my life right now. I waiting for just the right moment to take a breath, and start planning my future. I am waiting for just the right moment to reach out to old friends, and let someone in my life. I am waiting for the perfect time to take that first sip, to hope and wish that I'll get lucky and the tea will still be hot, but not so much that it hurts.
Once Upon a Time Inside Room 9...
:::walking in from an Evacuation Drill:::
K: Look! There is smoke coming out of the school chimney!
E: Oh yeah! That's a really small chimney.
B: It is really small! Why is it so skinny?!
K: I don't know, but it doesn't matter because Santa doesn't go to schools anyway. Only our houses.
The Daily Sneeze ((or what's fueling the fire today...))
- afternoon sun.
- being heard.