School’s out! A time of relaxation, fun, joy, wonder and delight for this teacher and mom of school-aged kids. I love my job, but dislike the routine of getting everyone out the door to work and school each morning, so those last days of school are always precious, beckoning me towards two months of relaxation and a break from the routine.
This year, though, I didn’t have the usual elation on the last day of school. Could it have had something to do with this?
Yes, I know in a world of deadly tornadoes and earthquakes and hurricanes it’s petty to complain about a little rain, drizzle, and fog. And I know I’ve spent 46 consecutive Junes here (even the years when I lived away, I was always home for all or part of the month of June), so I know it’s generally pretty bleak compared to June in the rest of the world. But when it’s the 25th of June and there have been 22 days of rain … not warm summer rain, or rain showers interspersed with sunshine, but for the most part solid, grim, cold rain-drizzle-and-fog day after dreary day — well, it begins to tax the spirit.
It’s an interesting example, really, of how one single factor can shape attitude. After all, what’s different from any other end-of-June? I’m still getting two solid months off work, and as a teacher who works hard and enjoys teaching, I’m not going to lie to you, that’s a sweet deal. I still get my kids at home with me every day for two months. I still have the opportunity to sleep in during the mornings and do more of the things I want to do in the daytime. But my mood is different just because the sun, which is always shining , is temporarily obscured by a blanket of cloud.
Actually, I have this theory that Newfoundlanders are at heart a very primitive people. Just as, supposedly, our ancient ancestors had rituals at midwinter to entice the sun to come back lest they be lost in eternal darkness, I think every “spring” (and I use the term loosely) Newfoundlandes have a very basic fear that summer will not come, and the longer the warm weather and sunshine delays, the deeper our fear that this will be it — the year we finally won’t get any summer at all.
We always get a little. The scattered good day in July if nothing else. It just takes faith, sometimes, to keep believing it will come.
But now that school’s out, when it does come, I’ll be ready.