(Photo credits here)
Limoncello has been one of my great discoveries this sembreak. It is Italian in origin, a beverage made of lemon and other things, but not quite as sour as lemonade and infinitely more refreshing. It is VEEEERY addictive! Apparently it is taken in between or after meals, to cleanse the palate. But in my case I have no problem downing it like a thirsty camel after trekking through the Sahara.
The sembreak is, I suppose, like limoncello. A refreshing taste in between hearty, heavy doses of Life. Come to think of it... limoncello is sweet and sour, like Life itself!
We become what we do, I think. Some might disagree, but it can't be denied that one's profession changes someone, either for the better or for the worse. Mine, I think, has altered me so greatly that sometimes I need to pause and think about who I am, without the apellation "Teacher" before my name.
I've come to that advanced stage in life when the doors that remain open are not as many as the ones that are closed, but now I think it's not necessarily a bad thing to have less options open in life. It teaches one gratitude. Who is happier: the bird with infinite directions to fly towards, or the rabbit with its single hole, surrounded by its loved ones? If happiness be pleasure (which it isn't), then you might think the bird is better off. But a multitude of options can paralyze one into inaction, and the homely rabbit with its conviction and its clear cut direction in life is to be envied.
I am turning into that rabbit. I am becoming *gasp* a mature lady of a certain age, though I certainly don't feel older! And yet I've been described as having an old soul. I suppose the nature of my profession has exposed me to several lives, to the point that I feel as if I've lived (albeit vicariously) several of them. That's why I'm grateful to be surrounded by children every day. Seeing the world through their eyes makes me realize how important it is to NEVER lose our childish sense of wonder, of delighting in the 'shallow' things like toffee nut latte and rainy school days.
And another thing: I've been granted the privilege of seeing how students I taught in the past have turned out, after a year or so in college. It's humbling and immensely gratifying… like seeing a report card in the flesh. And it just makes me grateful for the twists and turns in my life, the unplanned as well as the seemingly inconvenient ones, because they all make sense when you see that your life's thread was entwined with another's for a purpose. And it is a beautiful reminder of how the "chaos" in our life is actually all part of a Master Plan.
The emptiness will be filled up. The momentary sorrow and pain is from the soul forge, turning the dross into gold. And if there is a twinge of sadness at the thought that the sembreak is over far too soon, there is the comforting thought that we can only appreciate the beautiful days if we experience the bad ones. And how lovely that the "worst" days of my life are spent doing meaningful work, and that toffee nut latte will be coming soon!