Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What a Wonderful World

When I'm in the middle of the summer I forget how much fun teaching kindergarten is. I think I forget because teaching kindergarten is both exhausting and exhilarating. In the middle of summer I remember mostly the hectic pace while I forget how rewarding it is to connect with so many people.

When Friday rolled around, I was about as happy as Louis Armstrong sounds singing "What a Wonderful World."

Last Friday was not a regular Friday; it was the beginning of a three-day weekend. I was extra happy. I had plans to sail on Tomales Bay with friends. Later in the weekend I had plans to work on my boat, which is fun for me. And, with three days off, there would be time to slow down and temporarily reenter summertime bliss.

I decided to start the weekend with a Friday afternoon walk through town. During the walk I encountered four other teacher friends out and about town doing what I was doing: smiling and relishing the first long weekend of the new school term.

I wanted to order a book, so I went to Many Rivers Books and Tea and who should be there? but a table of good friends having tea. I especially love Walter. He's in my Society of Friends group and brings his 18 year-old granddaughter to our meetings. Walter is my Rabbi/Roshi—85 years old and so full of love he glows in the dark. (He gave me a warm hug and in a sotto voice said, "I love you, man.")

Walter was having tea with Karl, one of our most active local poets, and Mary and Charity who together or separately show up at a lot of the events Sarah and I attend as the Mayor and first man of Sebastopol. Mary is Charity's mom. I think it's sweet that you can find a mother and daughter enjoying tea together regularly most Friday afternoons.

From left: Charity, Mary, Karl, and Walter at Many Rivers Books and Tea.

The weekend which got off to this wonderful beginning turned out just as I had hoped. Better.

We even got around to some autumnal chores like cleaning out the rain gutters before the winter monsoon arrives in a couple of months.

Life is good.


Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

What a life-affirming post, Dan! Your sense of community just shines through. And Walter, looks amazing for a man of 85 - maybe that glow rejeuvenates the cells!

It's so nice to read about someone who so completely enjoys their life.

steven said...

so nice dan - the words, the smiles, the body language, the glow!!! i met my class today - i'd forgotten (can you imagine?) forgotten the waves and wash of energy that pass through a class. oh my!!!! i came home and fell asleep for half an hour!! woke like it was tomorrow!! all good. it's an amazing place isn't it dan!!!! have a peaceful evening. steven

Dan Gurney said...

Bonnie, thank you. I do feel incredibly fortunate to have found work I love and live in a community that I feel so deeply connected to. I'm up to my eyebrows in good fortune, and I am grateful, very grateful for that.

Dan Gurney said...

Steven, yes I can imagine. More than that, I go through that exact experience. I LOVE teaching. LOVE it. And yet, when I'm away for awhile and all jazzed up about my non-teaching life I feel some reluctance to going back to the hectic fast paced and incredibly, immeasurably rewarding work I do in kindergarten. I don't pretend to understand it. It's a mystery, a muse.

Delwyn said...


what a wonderful post of closeness, affection and community...You are obviously a cherished part of your community...

I want to be like Walter when I'm 85 - and in my jeans too...

Happy days

Sarah Lulu said...

Thank you for sharing the love that abounds in your community.

Margaret Pangert said...

Hi Dan~ It's so great to have friends. I love the kindness in their faces. You deserve it.
I had a family barbecue on Monday. It made me happy, but it also reminded me to keep active with my church groups, yoga groups, and especially my blogger group! Friendship means so much.