I’m preparing to resume a two day a week return to work as a classroom teacher this September. I’ve had a three year hiatus for health reasons. I wish I could say that I spent those three years travelling the world, meeting new people where they live, learning about other ways of life, swimming in aqua blue waters, and just basically exalting in life, but that isn’t the case.
I spent a lot of time resting; in stillness.
I spent a lot of time reassembling myself.
I spent a lot of time painting.
And I went to Peru. This wasn’t because of the wave of popularity the country is currently receiving. It was because of the stacks of National Geographics in my grandparent’s basement. It was because of the lama’s, and brightly
decorated ethnic dress, and shiny Incan kings, and those rounded mountain peaks that rise above clouds to graze the heavens; so much higher than anything else. Peru, was
the ultimate do it before I die trip. In truth, in the past three years I wondered if I could die, would die, and so…Peru happened. It was everything I’d imagined. I felt as if I belonged there…and that feeling lingers.
And I went to Chetwynd. My husband took a very good job there. It is a small, drab, dust-coated town. The wind howls through it. It’s colder there than I’m used to, and the snow has a completely different, pleasing quality to it there. It’s a lacking town and yet, I met some of the best kind of people there. The kind of people I’d like to hold onto tightly. We were sequestered in a dank apartment building. Not great, and yet, I found there was so much inspiration to paint. something about the place sparked me. Chetwynd taught me that there are ‘gems’ everywhere on this earth and that the gems are not necessarily what you are expecting or easy to find.
It’s an odd feeling to be preparing to pick back up where I left off, because I am not as I was three years ago. The culture that surrounds public school in British Columbia is at best, toxic right now, but there remains that seed of possibility, creativity, and autonomy that spurs me on toward trying it again. It’s the next step, if only for a little while, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the experience brings up my paintings.