Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wake Me up When September Ends

It’s the angle of light, more than anything I think, that speaks of autumn. The sun rests slightly lower in the sky, and I feel it. Shadows are a bit longer, even at midday, and light filters through the pine needles, lending a golden quality to the landscape. Autumn, for some reason, makes me feel sentimental and a tad melancholy.

The traditional symbolism for this season about change, and death, and such, is, in some ways, the opposite for me. Being a teacher, every autumn is the start of something new. It holds all the hope and promise of a blank page. Anything is possible.

This year, that particular sentiment is going to be helpful. I am teaching Writing and Literature to grades 5-8, and there is a lot going on in my department! Needless to say, my own writing exploits will be minimal.

But check out my new classroom!

It's gigantic. And beautiful. With huge windows. And when I stand at the front of the room teaching and look out those huge windows, I get to watch the cows peacefully grazing in the pastures.


Cows are very soothing to a frazzled teacher.

This fuzzy brown girl is in a pasture all her own, and she likes to come over to the fence nearest me in the afternoons, snuffling the grass and chewing contentedly. She's adorable.

I had to stop class in the middle of a lesson yesterday morning so we could observe this huge hawk perched on a light post just outside the window as well. (Sorry, no picture for that one.) I swear we do more than just look at cows and birds in my class though!

Books in my classroom library:

It's going to be a full year. I'm pretty excited for it, even while a bit anxious.

And, like any good crazy ultrarunner, I have still managed to scrape out a few running adventures.

I finally made it back to the Bay to Bliss (aka The Emerald Bay Trail Run). This year, instead of running this point-to-point 7.5 mile trail race along Lake Tahoe, then running from the finish back to the start (like I did in 2009), I did it in reverse. I arrived at the finish just before dawn to run through an incredible lakeshore sunrise to the starting line. This is definitely the way to do it!


I met a few friends at the start, like Dave and Turi:

And Meghan!

Best finish line ever ...

I also had the pleasure last week of playing trail angel for the baddest assest southbounder on the PCT - ultrarunning's own Leslie!

 She is now somewhere loving up the High Sierra. Go Leslie!!

And speaking of High Sierra, my last big adventure of the year was 37 miles of it with Jamie, Caren, and Clare. We got our butts kicked but our hearts filled running through Yosemite and the Ansel Adams Wilderness this past Sunday. (More to come on this one in an upcoming post, I hope!)

Sometimes just getting started is the hardest part. Yes, I love the potential of a fresh start. But the anxieties of September are the same ones from childhood. So many questions to be answered. 

Once the gun goes off and you're five miles into the race, warmed-up and smiling, all those anxieties just seem to melt away.

I'm looking forward to the fall colors and cool days of October.