You know that feeling when you step off the roller coaster? When you stumble about, disoriented, because all that whipping around sharp corners and plunging down steep hills has suddenly stopped?
Yeah, me neither, because the last coaster I rode was the Runaway Mine Train at Six Flags Over Texas, sometime between 1975 and 1978. Why choose to be terrified? Life is scary enough.
However, I have experienced a disoriented feeling after I dismount my carousel horse at Knoebel’s. I’ve been going round and round and up and down while my ears are assaulted with loud calliope music. I can hardly walk a straight line.
(When was the last time you read anything with the word calliope in it? You’re welcome.)
So that’s my metaphor of choice for this teacher (and I wager many others) after the end of the school year. Now that the terrain has ceased twirling and the clamor has quieted, what’s next? Do I get on another ride? Sit on a bench? Buy a funnel cake?
Past summers since my teaching ministry—I’d call it a career, but they’d have to pay me more—began in 1999, have had themes of rest, recovery, gadding about with other exuberant educators, and eating lunch out, which, technically, can be including in gadding about.
(That past sentence/paragraph is why they call me the Comma Queen.)
And I have to do something, anything, to my neglected house every summer.
But this summer presents a challenge I’ve not experienced before. It falls into the be-careful-what-you-pray-for category. This summer I must begin writing to fulfill a contract for two sequels to Surviving Meemaw. And I must begin writing to fulfill another contract for eight biblical short stories.
The opportunity I’ve prayed for and dreamed about waits expectantly for me to engage, as TNG’s Captain Picard would say.
Lord, teach me to number the minutes, hours, days, and weeks in my summer, that I may gain a heart of wisdom. (adapted from Psalm 90:12)