the school year ended in a flurry of tears and hugouts. my dry eyes lasted all day, until one of my girls moved in for a bear hug and didn't let go. in all my years of teaching i never had a more difficult time saying goodbye.
i told another child, a sad truth of life is that you will love & say goodbye to many many people throughout your life. i couldn't even finish saying it without my voice breaking.
the parents were wonderful. kind, good, people who love their children and appreciate the teacher who spent the year with them.
everyone lined up for pictures.
everyone lined up for hugs. even the painfully shy kids weren't leaving without one.
i finished up early yesterday and headed home with flowers, bags of vietnamese coffee, letters, a tiny pot of bamboo, and one trader joe's bag of supplies I brought with me in august.
as i drove up to moss cottage, i noticed one of the branches of the peach tree was heavy with fruit.
it was as if they had ripened overnight!
i picked some and brought them inside.
today i sat down and painted them in front of the window.
i thought about yesterday when i closed the doors of room 26 for the last time and walked away…
i thought of driving past the temple and of how my heart was bigger and softer than it had been in august.
i said goodbye, but also hello to a new clear surface for my life. a new road. a new adventure.
one child wrote me a dear note and then at the very bottom:
read this when you're 70 years old.
i pasted it into my journal that i started last summer. made my last entry on the last page.
took the whole journal full of notes and writing, put a rubberband around it and set it on the shelf.
another chapter finished.
a new one begun.