It’s September 1, the first day of school. As I drove into work this morning, seeing kids with backpacks walking to school, standing at bus-stops, or being dropped off by their parents at the front of my office building, adding an extra twist to the already complicated entrance, convoluted for months by road construction outside and parkade refurbishing inside, I wistfully recalled what I was doing exactly one year ago…
Driving to Canmore to celebrate a very different start to the school year. Reveling in the freedom, space and beauty. Practicing yoga by the river. Hiking in the mountains. Playing at the Highland Games.
Same kind of day… sunshine, blue skies, a golden cast to the elms and aspens, fresh early morning chill, dew on the windows. A day, then and now, holding promise, potential, possibility.
I returned to work on Monday. Found a parking space amidst the machinery, barriers, detour signs and dust, grateful to have one as most of my colleagues are parking on neighborhood streets and walking into work with their own backpacks. I settled into my new little workspace and created my signature ambience and sanctuary (inspired by Rumi’s “Let the beauty that you love be what you do”), grateful for the surprising quiet and solitude (it’s at the intersection of some office thoroughfares). I’m seeing familiar faces (and many new ones), grateful for the warm welcome, affection and camaraderie of colleagues.
With so much in flux due to the district’s restructuring, it’s the first time many of us have returned to work with empty calendars, full of wide-open space. We wait for computers, phones, connection and clarity. Months of travelling have instilled in me a simple truism: “hurry up and wait.” So I appreciate this calm and the unknowing of the blank canvas of my new position which, soon enough, will be filled with strokes, hopefully enough of my own creation.
To return: to go back to.
I’ve decided to reframe this return as a re-turn…to turn again, as in moving forward, along and through a spiral. So even though it might look like the same place, it’s not going back to what was. This “sits” better, more accurately, inside of me.
To re-turn: to have another turn, another chance to bring who I now am and what I’ve experienced during this time away. So even though I might look the same, I’m not. This “sits” better, more truthfully, inside of me.
To re-turn: to take a new turn, a new direction and way of sensing and moving through.
A new time to begin, again.