Dharmonia and I just returned from a Thanksgiving trip Up Yonder. Got back Saturday night, had one day of "vacation break", and landed hip-dip in the shit on the Monday morning.
That's OK--when you've been doing this for a while (10th year here, for me), you begin to be able to anticipate the biorhythms, the peaks & valleys, the watersheds & crises, of the bi-annual iteration of the semester--and you're thus much less thrown by them. I more or less know to expect that the kiddos will come back from the break having essentially forgotten essentially everything they're "learned" over the previous 14 weeks, and will need to be "re-trained after the coffee break" as we say up here. Fortunately, that re-training takes less time than the initial learning--and even less time if as instructor you know to anticipate it and splash some metaphorical cold water in their faces upon return.
Took a number of pleasant memories away from the high country, but here's one:
Post-hole digger in the high-mesa red clay, thinking of Gary Snyder's "Fence Posts", as I help the General lay in a few of the sixty or so needed for a friend's fence.Season's turning now.
At age 50, using the post-hole digger is like wrestling a younger opponent, or your own younger, fitter self, driving the spade-tipped oak handles four feet down the hole and finding the hard-pan at the bottom.
Pausing, resting the wrists unused to the rhythmic jolt of impact, enjoying the silence, the absence of the usual background sub-sonic rumble of freeway traffic that is absent here at 8000 feet, the crystalline blue sky and the atypical lack of wind,
and hearing the slow chuff-chuff as three of the oversized, Taos ravens row across the sky in line-ahead above me, hearing the slow wing-beats as they bank in for a landing,
to stare down at us, cockeyed and cynical, hunch-shouldered and midnight-black.