and so it is that the slow summer days have come to an end, when we all return to the much faster pace of the school year. my summer was full and rich – swimming pools, lazy days, lots of books, long conversations and short to-do lists.
Returning to school involves a whole different energy level. Though I do get tired, I find that the emotional energy it takes to shift back into our respective worlds is the heaviest. Kate Daniels sums up my conflicted feelings about the whole transition in her poem below – loving work, quietness, contemplation, yet pulled by those precious little ones toward a much noisier existence.In My Office at Bennington Mornings, I sit by the open window in the red barn, reading poems and quietly thinking. Coffee idles in a cracked blue mug, and bees burst in and out of the unscreened window. At last, a poem seems possible again – brain knitting a scarf of thought, purling it into words. Metaphors emerge after long seclusion – a green crocus, crusted with dirt, thrusts through the rotten fabric of an ailing lawn late in February. The season is almost over, or it’s not, in fact, begun. But then I hear the voices of my children returning from a meal, hiking up the hill from camp. Or the plastic wheels of Janey’s carriage clattering in gravel. The cheerful firstborn’s off-key whistle, airy through the gap in new front teeth and I’m paper torn in half, the poem that didn’t work, the wrong words, sour sounds, ruptured rhythms, the confusion as to what was meant, what I actually desired besides those three small faces raised to my open window, calling my name over and over, Mama?
Daniels, K. (2001). In my office at Bennington. In M. K. DeShazer (Ed.), The Longman anthology of women’s literature (pp. 872-873). New York: Longman.