Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A New Beginning

When traveling along the roads of Ireland's rolling hills, you will come across the most beautiful green fields you have even seen. And every once in a while you will see a clump of bushes and trees that sprout up in the middle of the fields. These are the fairy forts, enchanted places where the fairies live. Really!

A few years ago, I decided to dig a spot in my back yard for an herb garden. I just wanted a small spot where I could plant a few interesting plants and watch them grow. Roger brought out the roto-tiller and before I knew it, my little herb garden was much larger than I expected so he added a few plants to my collection. I planted basil, some lemon verbena, and a small fig tree. I planted eucalyptus just to see it grow. I decided to add some Queen Anne's Lace here and there. The next summer, black plastic covering was added to keep the weeds down. He covered everything with mulch he purchased at the garden center and pulled up all the Queen Anne's Lace (because they were "weeds.") By the third summer, we began to see crepe myrtle trees sprouting up all around the herb garden. Roger determined that they had been in the mulch he bought from the garden center. We decided to let them grow and see what colors we had. They were deep pink, white, and lavender...too pretty to remove. We let them grow. Over the years we added clematis, several hibiscus plants, bird feeders, and a few hanging pots. The basil had to be relegated to pots and placed in sunny spots around the yard. Our herb garden was now devoid of herbs. It had become a fairy fort! My fairy fort is a great place to think, to plan, to dream, to read, to sketch, to write. An enchanted place of my very own!

Sitting in my fairy fort, I realized that each new school year was always a beginning for me as a student and as a teacher. I am a planner and an organizer (which is different from being organized). For the few years I have been retired, I have been floundering. Not quite sure what to do with myself. I am staying busy lunching with friends and taking care of my grandson. I have also been de-cluttering. This is a painstaking process that requires a packrat like me to read every piece of paper, wallow in the memories, and evaluate my decisions carefully. Should I toss, keep, or find another teacher-packrat who wants this? Sometimes you just have to let go. I know this in my mind. It's my heart that has trouble letting go.

When I was working, I could never find the time for writing or art. Now I am trying to make up for lost time. I have taken a few art classes, but I am not spending nearly enough time with writing or practicing what I have learned in my art classes. I started to think about this and decided to create a new beginning. I am initiating my new beginning appropriately with the start of the new school year. I have decided to let go of something each day of the school year and write about it from the fairy fort.

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