Today was a perfect day.
I didn’t plan to write about it, but as the day draws to a close, the perfection of it all demands to be heard. Words are bubbling up in my brain so quickly that if I don’t write them down, something up there just may burst.
It was that kind of day.
This was the first weekend of the school year. I came home on Friday, after a mere 2 1/2 days of teaching, completely exhausted and thoroughly exhilarated. It’s still early, I know, but I get the feeling that this is going to be one of those years when I just fall in love with my class. I can’t really explain how or why it happens, but there are certain collections of children (for lack of a better word!) that simply reach right out and touch my heart. This group seems to be that way. Already.
So I came into the weekend with a lot to do, but a happy soul. Yesterday was mostly errands and chores around the house.
Yesterday was also the sixth day in a row where the temperature went almost to 90 degrees and the humidity was nearly the same. It was an uncomfortable, breathless, sweating, nasty day to be shopping and cleaning, but I did what had to be done. In the evening we weathered a tornado alert and a huge, torrential thunderstorm, and I went to be praying for the stickiness to dissolve.
And we come to this morning.
I woke up at 7 to a cool breeze. I went into the living room, trailed by my faithful doggies. I stepped onto the deck and into a world of golden beauty. The trees were drenched, but as they dripped, the sun shone through every drop, as if they were coated in diamonds. The breeze blew, and a shower of sparks came down through the woods, lit up from within with a rainbow of incredible fire.
Paul woke up and we started the day with a long soak in the hot tub, breathing in the cool, crisp scent of almost-fall, and drinking our coffee as the steamy water eased the kinks out of our backs.
I had a lot of school work to do, but I was excited to be doing it. Right after breakfast, I jumped into those tasks. I scored some math tests, prepared tomorrow’s math lesson, read some student folders and started a vocabulary sheet for our first science unit.
As the day went on, I realized that I was also determined to enter the upcoming week as fully prepared as possible. I did all of the laundry, thinking that I would need enough clean clothes to see me through to Friday. I washed the floor and cleaned the bathrooms: I knew I wouldn’t be doing that on a Wednesday morning any more!
And I cooked. The coolness of the day, and the adrenaline of the new school year, combined to push me into full on Italian-woman mode.
I boiled six eggs for easy breakfasts; they were local eggs, but were two weeks old! On Friday I picked up 2 dozen fresher chicken eggs as well as six beautiful duck eggs.
I marinated tempeh for this weeks lunches: we’re trying to cut down on the meat, but I am determined that its still going to taste good! Marinated tempeh in spring roll wrappers it is.
And I cooked down ten fresh and gorgeous tomatoes, adding spices and wine and homemade meatballs. Dinner for at least one night this week!
When everything was done, and tonight’s dinner was still waiting to be started, I sat outside on my deck, turning my face to the sun.
I am acutely aware that very, very soon, my afternoons of sunshine will be gone. My garden-fresh foods will disappear under a layer of ice. My casual soaks in the hot tub will be replaced with a frantic run between the hot water and the house.
Everything comes to an end. Even this wonderful summer.
And so I am stocking up on everything I need to get through another long, cold New England winter. I am stocking up on love for my class and on jars of fresh tomato sauce. I am freezing fresh and local peppers and corn, and making refrigerator pickles out of those crisp and delightful little cukes.
And I am writing down the memory of a perfect September Sunday, so that I can pull it out in February, when the winds are blowing and the noses are running, and when winter feels as if it will never ever end.