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What Summer Teaches Us

Being the child of a public school teacher and university professor, the beginning of the school year is always a launch of some sort. This week, as the traffic picked up and the children went back to school and many districts, especially for those of us further east in the county, it felt as if the summer had been very brief.

Perhaps that is because I no longer have school-age children and did not share that feeling that I remember of being sort of glad to have the routine restore order to our lives. Perhaps it is also that as the gap between those who have and those who have not grow in our society, our summers have increasingly been ones of unrest. For it is in the summer that those gaps become most apparent. Those who have filled their summers with activities and relaxations and those who have not grow increasingly bored and discontent. This is been true for many generations and yet in times of societal shifts these differences seem more cavernous. And with global climate change, we also face havoc of fires and other natural disasters.

Our short and increasingly conflict-filled summers are still needed breaks from the pace of the year. Even though the children are back in school and many of our routines are picking up, how can we incorporate the wisdom of Summer’s, the gentle rhythms and the more expansive days into these months to come? For if ever there was a time when a new beginning brought promise, This Is It.

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