I can’t begin to fully express how I felt. I am sure that in some language or culture there may exist a description for how I felt, but the limitations on the English language and my limitation as only knowing English, I am unable to give the feeling I have experienced through words. However, I will attempt by suggesting that I felt lucky, I felt fortunate, and I felt thankful; I am grateful. Today was a good day.
Processing through the remainder of the school year has been trying. Today I felt as though there was progress. Not just progress with planning, or paperwork, but progress with students. I was able to connect with several students who no one had been able to contact to date. I was able to get several other students on track toward making great progress. I was able to connect two students with each other who have been feeling, as have most students, disconnected since we have been physically out of school. It was a productive day and I felt really quite good about myself as I tread along the road on my afternoon jaunt.
Once I reached the woods and began my extensive hike; my mind wandered, as it often does. I began thinking about my most recent blog post. I began contemplating about how freedom can hold you in shackles. I began processing the numerous ironies of freedom and how they, in today’s culture the freer you are the more restrictions there are placed upon you. Your thoughts, your duties, and your possessions, all restricted.
However, as I continue my hike, I turn down a trail I have not traveled on before. I wait for a family of 5 being led by an energized 3-year-old girl who scampers across the wooden footbridge then hops over an gnarly oak root, through a slight muddy speck; all the time she is followed and encouraged by her father. By now, across the bridge comes her mother and big sister. Her sister might be 5-years-old and she is trailing around behind and to the left and right of her mother’s legs; almost holding a shyness to depart from the security of her mother to experience the levity of nature. On the back of the mother, the youngest sibling, who looked to be only months old. I paused off to the side of the trail and waited for them to pass.
I crossed the bridge and ventured up the steepness. The hill, weaving between the pristine young ash on a trail aptly called “Glade”. As I reached the crest of Glade I turned to the right onto “Slippery Rock”. The tufts of grass on either side of the trail drops gently cascading down the soft roll of the decent pressing into the incline on the other side. On May 18th, a late Spring, as I am walking through a Lolita of nature, it was at this exact location where I experienced the emotion I was unable to describe.
This feeling, as euphoric as it was, was only a passing sentiment. I know that it cannot be forced into duplication. It was organic and whisked away when I observed it. As I saw it, it vanished as quickly as it arrived. I recall fondly how I felt in the moment; fleeting as it was. I dream for this feeling in the future but do not expect it. Could the culmination of the events of the day be replicated? Without a doubt. Could the natural elements of the afternoon, the nature be recreated? Sure thing. Could the timing of all the circumstances lead to the feeling again? Definitely. As unbelievable as the fleeting moment was, its power came from its exclusivity. In this, the freedom of that moment will never be mirrored. The English language has a word that describes this: sad.