I went back to school today.
Actually, I’ve been in and out of school all month long, but today was the official first day of school.
It’s always a bit of a mystery, that first day. No one really knows what to expect. On day one, both the tall and the small share the same hopes, heart-fluttering nerves, and what-if worries. We all feel a little giddy (and maybe giggly) because we didn’t sleep well last night. And all of a sudden, the day begins and before the end of the first hour, it feels as though we’ve been back awhile.
We arrive with one foot left still in summer and the other walking forward into fall. Day one is fresh and forgiving of past mistakes. Our new shoes arrive at the front door unscuffed by the past paths we’ve walked, and our notebook paper waits clean – no marks, smudges, or erasures.
It’s almost like New Year’s Day. We sharpen our pencils and get right to work, a checklist of goals just set and still easy to remember. All of us stand right there at the starting line. Poised and ready to run.
Because we know we can. The first day of school is here and the last day of school is so far behind us, we can’t see it clearly anymore and all we really know for sure is … this … this will be our year.
When we go back to school, we all have dreams and there are people all around us ready to help us reach them. We each have questions and friends all around us who want to help us find answers. We are not alone.
Wouldn’t it be great if everyone went back to school in the fall? If we all set learning goals and found time to write, read, and figure things out every day? What if we found nourishing people to surround us and support our lives and our dreams, and what if those same people forgave our mistakes, remembering we’re all still learning?
I love when my students ask, “What if?” It tells me they’re wondering. They’re thinking. They’re taking chances, risks, and plunges.
Have you asked, “What if?” lately?
Maybe today’s the day.