I love new school supplies – I always have. When I take the plastic wrap off of a new package of loose-leaf paper, I just stare at the clean white sheets, mesmerized – I think it’s lovely! And a newly sharpened pencil is glorious. Maybe it’s because I’m a poet, or because I’m an idealist – I love things that are clean, fresh and new…
I used to love the beginning of school and the fall – although I grew up here in Florida and the fall here never quite looked like the fall on T.V…But in my mind, it did! New clothes, new friends, clean school-supplies, and a crisp autumn breeze (okay, it was really August and 98 degrees on a hot school bus)…It was beautiful!
Now, as a parent, the process of getting ready for school is…a little more hectic – Wal-mart is a nightmare, the “lists” from the teachers often include obscure items that probably only exist in the southern tip of Madagascar, and my childhood ability to only feel the weather as it exists in my fantasies is somehow fading…maybe it’s dying of heat exhaustion!
It’s funny how we can remember things a certain way, even if they weren’t quite that way in reality. Our perception is so wrapped up in our emotions and experiences, we can fool ourselves into believing it’s a crisp fall day even in the sweltering heat of summer.
Christmas is like that for me. Even when it’s sunny and 80-something outside, in my heart it’s like a Thomas Kinkaide “Wintertime” painting, with smoke-filled chimneys and horse-drawn carriages…I guess because I need it to be that way. We all need a certain amount of idealism in our lives, some of us more than others – it’s like hope. To imagine that things are better than reality – to see things how they could be, rather than how they really are.
I’m going to try to remember how I did that when I was a child on the hot school bus, and try to look at things around me with that same sense of hopefulness – and tonight as I “play” with my kid’s school supplies, maybe I’ll drink some hot chocolate and put on a sweater…
There’s beauty all around us – even in unexpected things…like school supplies!