Today is the last day I will hear the children laughing and shouting at one another. The balls that bounce into the air and the jump ropes that swish the ground and the whistle that signals the children to come running to the big glass doors will all be put away for a few months.
It’s the last day of school.
Every weekday morning during the school year I savor the sounds that waft through my sliding glass door from seven-thirty to eight o’clock. I love hearing the children gather in the massive school yard behind my house. I liken my fascination with this cheerful sound to watching goldfish swim aimlessly around in a large fish tank. It soothes me, engages me from a safe distance. I’m far enough away from the playground to prevent me from distinguishing the words being exchanged. I can’t pick out hateful, bullying tones from gleeful, friendly ones. It all sounds like happy, whimsical and carefree chatter to me. Truly, it’s music to my ears and singing to my heart.
During the summer months a handful of children will play in the playground sporadically throughout the days. But it won’t be the same. I won’t hear the entire school gather during that thirty minutes. I won’t hear the faceless teacher blow her whistle. And I won’t be privy to morning announcements or the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance as they sound over the loud speakers attached to the back of the building.
It will be quieter. School will be out.
I remember well the easily marked changing seasons during my growing up years, don’t you? The beginning and ending of school, football season and softball season, marching season and concert season, summer vacations and Christmas break. They all marked distinguishable seasons in my well-ordered life. Band practices and trips marked my fall calendar. Piano recitals and softball practice marked the spring pages.
When my children were in school the seasons of my life continued to be marked by the events on their calendars. But now that they are grown, many of the seasonal markers have vanished from my radar. I don’t automatically know when the first high school football game is, when little league registration opens, when spring break comes or when the last day of school arrives.
My year has more continuity.
But seasons still change, don’t they?
Seasons of life change, too. Change doesn’t just occur when the last school bell rings or the first football is kicked toward the opposite goal line. And seasons don’t just come and go with spring’s first green buds or autumn’s colorful foliage.
Seasons shift and change and close and begin all through our lives…in myriad ways. We experience seasons in: