I wonder when rocks begin to settle? When do they sink far enough into the earth that a shuffling shoe or even a determined kick cannot alter this final resting point? I recognize that rocks (probably) do not have much choice in this ultimate placement, but I do wonder if there is a moment when they just give in to their destiny.
I am not a gardener. My husband is the one who somehow transforms corners of our yard into spots of beauty and finds a way to coax food from packages of seeds. When we first moved into our house, I watched as he pulled rock after rock out of the soil, before finally giving up on the natural land and building raised beds that would become our gardens for years to come. The rocks were too big. The rocks were too stubborn. The rocks were just too many. But he didn’t give up; he just accepted that the rocks had a permanent space and worked around it.
I thrive on routine, but only because that routine gives me a bit of control. I rarely try to control the uncontrollable but I hold tight to the things that I can control. I have usually been able to tell the difference. Until now. Now I am missing the spontaneity and vibrancy and change and all of the things that define a middle school life. I need to exercise my flexibility and make sure that my response muscles still work. But without something to flex around or respond to, I am stagnant. I didn’t know that this was missing until today…this is what my students and my “school world” always provided and now they are gone.
As much as I try to move…around the house, around the neighborhood, around my own busy mind…I worry that I have begun to settle. Tomorrow I will till my proverbial soil and try to loosen my grip on stagnation. I know that I am not a rock, nor am I in danger of becoming permanently embedded in the soil, but I do fear that without the energy of the unpredictable, I will begin to sink.