An email pops into my mailbox: the countdown begins! Your classmates, teachers (and sundry others) will be coming together on May 4th! It’s an invitation to take part.
But here’s the thing. I went to grade school at UNIS – the United Nations International School in New York. This is a reunion of our lot. But my classmates wont be there! They’re scattered in all parts of the world. They come from faraway and they return to faraway.
And here’s the other thing about elementary school reunions: they should not suggest that I’ll be among my pals and teachers too. My teachers are likely dead. Or with dementia. My favorite teacher (math, from Denmark, Mr Rydstrom) was forty when I was eleven. Do the arithmetic. That would make him now 88. At best he is at a pleasant retirement home overlooking the North Sea doing sudoku. No way will he be at the reunion.
We are almost in May. Yet, when I biked to work, the cold wind knocked me around so much that I explained to my morning class that at least at the outset, I could not see them. My eyes were glazed over – and this from a person who always wears glasses.
May (and I know we’re not actually in May, but close enough) – it’s a peculiar month. It’s dealt me some punches. May – the month of near death in infancy, the month of major surgery at age 12, at age 21, at age 24 (indeed, I have had no surgeries outside of that month), the month of my brain hemorrhage, the month of break up, of a friend’s death, of weird acting out, of lust, of greed, of wanting.
May’s a regular bell ringer!
I’m calmer now. It takes a bit more to rile me.
Today (true, it’s April still) I come home tired. I had biked to work, there’s that.
It’s the end of the teaching week – there’s that as well.
At the farmette, I plant, pull, and then, exhausted, I fall back on the couch and Ed and I eat scrambled eggs for dinner. True, with asparagus, but still – eggs. I worry that it is a mark of inspirational decline.
On the upside, I pour an Aperol spritz into a tall glass and watch it disappear. How so? Well, Ed, who dislikes most any alcoholic beverage (except the once a month dark beer) took to this bitter orange fizzy concoction like someone raised on it. Weird.
I love this time of the year, of life, of dreamy expectations. But there’s a challenge to love. I’m well aware of it.
Such a complicated existence this is. No wonder Voltaire stood committed to growing one’s garden. It is an “extraordinarily effective way to keep busy.”