In a teacher’s world, June is like Friday—half anticipation, half wild freedom--, July is Saturday, when the time stretches out forever and you can stare into space without feeling any outside pressure, and August is Sunday, when the light shifts, freedom becomes precious, and the cold classroom looms.
Right now, we are in the middle of July, the middle of Saturday afternoon. Yesterday, I climbed Iron Mountain with four other teachers and one six year old, who boldly lead the way for the last mile, waving a walking stick, backpack bouncing on her shoulders. We spent the weekend at Da Vinci Days, listening to music and watching the Kinetic Sculpture races. Last week, we were on a week long trip to the Red Buttes and NPSO annual meeting. For the last two weeks, I’ve been reading Harry Potter for an hour or so in the afternoon. There’s been time to drink tea, poke at plants in the gardens, set up the greywater system, and can some pickled beets and plums. Dinner veg comes directly from the back yard. Life is good.
I know, I know there’s quite a bit of work lurking out there. The preserving season is coming on fast; I have a bookshelf and two benches to build, four front garden beds to dig out, a photo survey of neighborhoods to finish up, and I promised my boss I would try and find some international lit that tenth graders who don’t like to read might enjoy. We’re planning a fifty mile backpack around the Sisters in late August. I want to go to Portland and Eugene. I need to practice my perspective drawing, so sketches don’t look like they are about to fall of the edge of a cliff. And there are books to sort, and weeds to pull, and cakes to bake for friends. August is coming on fast.
However, today, it is still July. The sun is shining on my laundry lines. Gladys is basking, wings outstretched. The bees have calmed down from our incursions last week. Scarlet Runner Beans and nasturtiums weave through the back trellises, tempting hummingbirds. There is still time.