School started officially, for me today. I no longer linger at the “morning table” drinking coffee for as long as I please and watching the light change. As much as I love to rise early-it takes a while for me to “shine”. I especially do not like to rush in the mornings, so I plan accordingly, the night before to avoid any ruckus at the start of the day.
I like to get to work early, and I did so today. I have a beautiful drive to work down country roads and I take note of things-like the horses grazing in quiet pastures. I look at the large expanse of sky over the fields. I love the slanted shadows of the first part of the day. Morning is a beautiful time. I always “hope for the best” in the morning.
I am homesick for the rabbit patch, when school starts back. The sentimental Irish in me shows up every year and I wonder all sorts of things. I think about Christopher Robin, and Cash if he’s not with me. I think about Jenny and Lyla-and they just seem further away. I look forward to supper and comfortable “house clothes” in the evening. For a while, I feel like I am missing something that is very important. When the children come back to school, things turn around, or else I would surely be the first person to perish from “homesickness” just fifteen minutes from the house.
When my children were young, I heard a little boy play a violin in Church. He was a tiny , cute little boy and it was just adorable. I asked his mama casually, after church where he learned to play. She told me about a method of music instruction in Greenville, a larger town, with a university, just thirty minutes away. The method was intended for very young children and was called “Suzuki” as the Japanese founder was Dr. Suzuki. I loved music and played guitar a little. I was “home-schooling”, which in the early eighties, was considered radical-but it meant I had the time for Brant to have instruction. This method relies heavily on parents learning to play too-and so I did. I will not go in to all of the details, but I fell in love. Now, I teach over two hundred children, at our school.
I never planned on any of this. When my husband, died over a decade ago, I quit teaching privately and went to work at the school. As it turns out, the violin has fed my children and provided shelter, too, ever since. Looking back, it seems like a beautiful plan unfolded-in a divine fashion. I did not “make water come out of that rock.”
It is for this reason that I set a clock for early these days. When I was young, the adults used to wake us kids up with the words”rise and shine!” Their voices were always cheerful and sometimes mama would sing a “good morning to you” song, as well, with her clear soprano voice. It was always impossible for us kids to get up before the adults when I was growing up. Pop got up at all hours during the night, when he was “curing tobacco, so he could check on the barns, but he was up before me anyway. I remember waking up to the smell of coffee and bacon on dark winter mornings and hearing “rise and shine” ringing through out that little farmhouse. The little room I slept in was right off the kitchen and the heavy quilts that kept me warm, were the same ones that kept my mama warm, when she was a girl.
This happened a long time ago, but I can still clearly remember the voicesthat woke me with song and inspiration. . So I drive past the quiet pastures with horses grazing- and past the fields while the light is changing – with my old violin and some ” rabbit patch shine”. . . and I hear my mama singing “this is the way to start a new day”.