The other day I went blackberry picking. I haven’t done that since I was a kid, and I forgot how satisfying it is to find a bush bursting with end-of-season sweetness. While I was searching for the juiciest of the lot, I could hear the local high school marching band practicing in the distance. I thought to myself: what a lovely juxtaposition- the taste of Summer, the sound of Fall.
I love this time of year. There’s something about transitioning into a new season that makes me feel so alive and in-touch with my emotions: Wistful about the warm, slower days of Summer coming to an end. Excited about the possibilities that Fall brings- along with leather boots and cozy sweaters. Wary, thinking about everyone’s schedules shifting from busy to absolute madness- will I ever see my friends??
Perhaps, most of all, I feel nostalgic. For many years, late August meant waiting for classroom assignments and school schedules to arrive in the mail. I would shamelessly stalk the postman: Excuse me, sir, but I think you lost my mail…Waiting was torture. I was endlessly consumed by the mystery: who is my teacher? (Oh, and will Michael so-and-so be in my class…because he’s pretty damn cute…)
Looking back on the teachers I’ve had throughout my life, I can see that they wore a variety of hats (and sometimes leotards). They were traditional educators, dance instructors, yoga teachers, therapists, Spanish tutors, spiritual gurus, bosses, parents, friends. And I learned from every brilliant one of them. Now, as I forge a new path in recovery, I am looking for new teachers. Big brothers and sisters of the sober variety who can point me in the right direction and kick my butt when necessary. I know they are out there, and I thank them in advance for the role they will play in my life. When the time is right, our paths will cross. Until then I’ll prepare myself to be the best student possible- for, as the Buddhist proverb dictates, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.