Today I woke up feeling clunky. After four days of not washing my hair, I looked for a variation on the classic ponytail to hide my lack of beautifying initiative and brought myself down to the kitchen. It was the best I could do. Even my daily, independent rendezvous with a cup of coffee on a quiet patio didn’t kick the clunks. So, I tried to go with it and was happily relieved to see my students dragging themselves up my front walkway with the same don’t-care-hair. We all looked at each other, sighed, and got to work. Everyone knew we had made it up from our slumber by pure luck and anything else would have to be absolutely ancillary. It’s a relieving thing to be reflected as a normal human being on days like this. That might have been what put a slant in my day, because the rest only got better.
I went down to the beach for a barefoot walk along the shoreline and stopped several times to stretch. I tried to notice things in the scenery I’d missed before, and wondered what things I’ll be able to remember when this beautiful coastline is no longer down the street from my home. I felt the water beat into my toes and up my legs. I noticed the quiet ease of people moving and situating themselves on the beach. Kids squealed and sang, barreling into the ocean without needing to contemplate its meaning, or the meaning of anything. I did my best to copy-cat with my little water walking, but kids are the ones who have this art nailed:
Abandon. Just you and the moment.
It was lovely to watch and hear them play. Later, my day continued improving. At some point, I even made it to the shower. A student brought chocolate and shared stories of a recent trip to Switzerland. She learned how to say, “My niece and nephew are affectionate with me.” Her candor brought me closer to my first home, and I sent as many squeezes as I could, vibrationally speaking, to my own niece and nephew, who are no doubt having a fun-filled, squealing summer. Another student canceled which left me extra time to dawdle around the house and organize my piles. There are so many projects! How will I ever get them done! I also got to relive the teary intro to Karate Kid II and hear my partner’s impression of a Japanese mobster. What could be better? The whole day, a cool breeze wiggled between the windows and through our house and I felt so much appreciation. And ease.
My last student came, this one learning Spanish, not English, and was proud to share she had had her first conversation with the lady who cleans her office. She was brave enough to move beyond, “Hola!” and told the woman she was learning Spanish. It might have come out sounding funny, she said, but who cares.
Yeah, who cares? I thought. Put your hair in whatever kind of funk you want it. Keep it in the same ponytail for weeks without even thinking about it, and see how many other wonderful moments you get.