A steady bright rain falls past all the windows as the bright blue of the sky shines through. It’s 58 degrees and February in Vermont, and this thaw day is melting the icicles that cling to all these buildings while the tall pines and firs sway in a spring-like breeze. The residency where I teach in the Individualized MA Program has started, and everyone I meet is giggling, throwing their arms around someone (and sometimes me), and shaking their heads in wonder at the weather and at being here.
Maybe it was our opening session when our program director declared, rightfully too, “We now know the faculty is totally nuts” while we laughed almost off our chairs. Maybe it was my student from last semester, Kao, singing out Kelley Hunt’s song, “Breathe in. Breathe out” at the opening session. Maybe it’s just that sense of arrival, all of us getting buckled in for the journey that will take up through the mountains of what we want to learn most and how best we can find out for ourselves what it all means. But whatever is happening, I’m caught up in the the giddy, springtime clearing of this moment, especially since I know snow and long days, too much coffee and not enough deep sleep, is on the hoof.
Sitting around the round table with my students from last semester speaking of what the last half-year’s turnings have brought us, I’m landed right in the center of this gratitude, this love for being alive and able to walk cleanly in the sunlight, this gift that keeps giving more of itself as I look toward the trees and falling water, the sky dimming at the edge and the beautiful faces, the world as it’s actually happening.