Someone asked me recently if I ever think about teaching again (I used to be an elementary special education teacher). I always say no. I say no, even though I often have dreams about my former students and wonder where they are now. I say no, even though I miss getting to see the same children 5 days a week and becoming such good friends with them. I say no, even though my paycheck was steady and good and I had health insurance. I say no because, at this point, I can’t imagine a life unlike the one I’m living now. Each day is a flower that unfolds, the color inside a mystery until it reveals itself. I don’t follow a schedule anymore, simply flowing with the river of the day and relaxing into the moods, emotions, and creations that arise. It rains and I take my basket and harvest the desert seaweed that I often speak of, my mud boots squishing and squashing, feeling delighted when I stumble upon a particularly large mass of the green algae-like stuff.
Some days I work on my jewelry business until the afternoon and then feel the urge to take a hike, so I put on my hiking pants and set off. I start out walking at a normal pace, my eyes and ears taking in the sights and sounds until I start to tap into the Spirit of this land. Then my walk slows to taking a few steps at a time and then stopping to listen for deer or pigs and search the ground for fallen treasures. My senses get overwhelmed, although not as easily as when I first arrived here; to be completely surrounded by Earth, alone, is quite stimulating for me and I often sink to my knees in humble gratitude, offering my happy tears to the ground.
Once, I found the tip of a spear (made from flint) lying on the ground and when I picked it up and held it in my palm, I swear I could almost feel the ancient history running up my arm.
So, while I do miss working with children daily, I do not miss the monotony of that time in my life. I admire those that are able to stay centered and balanced while sticking to a schedule, but I also appreciate my own quirkiness (doesn’t seem like quite the right word, but a better one escapes me) at not being able to adjust to it. So, for now, I will stay out here; out here where the days flow like streams and where the seaweed needs to be collected; out here where the rising sun means there are hikes to take and treasures to collect; out here, where the wild things are.
These are collections of thoughts in my heart + head.
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