Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Parallels

As the school year wraps, I'm keenly aware of the merging presence of both the end and the beginning. The end of the school year and the beginning of the summer, mingling in the same space.

Yesterday, I walked the halls of Abby's elementary school.

What is it about the palpable, tangible energy during those last school days? The students and teachers all wear a mix of exhaustion and anticipatory joy on their faces. As my feet moved me down the hall, I recalled organizing all the shiny, crisp school supplies into Abby's backpack for the first day of school. Now, I peeked into classrooms and saw children haphazardly shoving old, worn folders, well-loved crayons and papers into their packs.

I inhaled the school unique essence of school: tempera paint, paper reams, glue and sweaty gym shoes. The scent of freshly-cut grass wafted in through the open windows. Blank hall walls, which just last week proudly displayed students' work, now looked so stark, punctuated with the occasional ripped corner of some well-thought-out project, pierced with one stalwart thumbtack. The floors of the hallway? The scuffed, well-traveled halls seemed torn. I could almost hear them saying, "I thought they'd never leave," while heaving a sigh of relief and trying to commit the footsteps and hum to memory. As if they could sense the impending, inevitable solemn quiet and darkened days. And were already yearning for the freshness of fall. I know how they feel.

Where do endings end and beginnings really begin? They mesh and parallel each other. I suspect the edges are always gray, frayed and ambiguous. Like those hallowed halls, like those worn school supplies. Like me. Yearning for quiet, embracing the noise and simultaneously craving both summer and fall.

9 comments:

MaFerron said...

Amen! You hit the nail on the head... with this piece and especially this "The scuffed, well-traveled halls seemed torn. I could almost hear them saying, "I thought they'd never leave," while heaving a sigh of relief and trying to commit the footsteps and hum to memory. As if they could sense the impending, inevitable solemn quiet and darkened days. And were already yearning for the freshness of fall. I know how they feel."

Aging Mommy said...

Beautiful post and lovely words to describe this end of year and for us parents end of an ear time.

Christine said...

This resonated with me. There is so much wrapped up in the beginning and ending of a school year. And that feeling never leaves us, even though it's been 12 years since I started a school year. I still feel it. My son starts in September and I nervous and excited all at the same time. Thanks for this post, really, really enjoyed it.

alita said...

You never cease to amaze me with your words. Honestly I felt something similar as Da Chenz's last day of school arrived last week. I just couldn't put my emotions to words like that.

Amazing. Simply amazing.

"heaving a sigh of relief and trying to commit the footsteps and hum to memory."

Thank you for your post.

Carrie said...

how true this is D... I find it to be a bittersweet time, both exciting and sad that another school year is ending... beautiful piece.

IASoupMama said...

Lovely, gorgeous evocative writing... I'm a new follower and hope to enjoy more of your craft!

Just Another Mom of 2 said...

This is such a beautiful post. We just had our last day of preschool, and I had a moment where I realized that while this is the end of the preschool year, it is the beginning of many, many, last days to come.

I'm a new follower through Theta Mom's Community!

ck said...

Reading this made me feel like I was back in elementary school myself. I could picture the halls of that school, the smells of the building and the flutter in my stomach when school was about to end. Things I never fully forgot, but until reading this beautiful post, never fully remembered.

moveovermarypoppins said...

I found you via Theta Mom, and I have to say, I loved this post.

It caught the spirit just so, and made me more than a little nostalgic for school--and anticipatory... my own little one has a few years before school.