That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consum’d with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
Today I am being both melancholy and melodramatic. This favorite sonnet of mine sums up my emotions perfectly. What is wrong, you may ask? Who has left? What has died?
Summer has officially ended.
I reported back to my job as a resource teacher today. Don’t get me wrong; I consider it a privilege to have the career that I do, to be able to help struggling students find success. And for every school year that drains me of my energy, my time and often my sanity, there is a summer that follows which allows me just enough time to refresh and reboot before doing it again. Being in the teaching profession has let me enjoy the magic of summer, like a child, every year of my life since I was five.
Summer has been a time to reconnect with my family, to be creative and to just be me. I have read novels, napped and been lazy. I have vacationed and played with my children. I have completed projects to better and maintain my home. Frankly, I’ve been a bit self-centered and pampered myself. I have definitely, as Shakespeare said, “loved that well which [I ]must leave ere long!”
With the start of the school year, time will be short. The whole family will be on the run. Most, if not all, of my creativity will be channeled into my students. My family and I will come second to the demands of both my job and my children’s education. But while I mourn the end of a magical, wanton summer, I am ready to once again accomplish another successful school year. And before I know it, the sweet birds of summer will sing again.