School starts tomorrow.
This is most exciting,
and hardest for new families,
parents of "kinder-gardeners",
and the kids themselves.
I saw volunteers marking off the gathering places
for the Kinder and 1st grade kids today,
at the patio outside the Green Wing Annex.
I will be there tomorrow morning,
passing out wildflowers for the kids to give to their teachers (never hurts!).
I am very aware of how this parting with your child feels,
especially for some parents (with less than 10 kids!)
leaving your prize,
your brave little one,
to the community that you have entered and entrusted.
I can tell you that it is hard for many kids (and their moms and dads),
but I can assure you that there are many many people around watching, and aware,
and ready to help and soothe and facilitate and comfort these lovely new students.
I will be there during lunchtime, to help guide the kids through the end-of-lunch waste sorting routine.
This experience could be considered comical,
if one has never witnessed the bravery and baffled look in the eyes of new kinder kids as they are asked their choice of lunch selections,
or being given instruction on sorting their lunch waste.
It is a stress on the kids,
.... but it can be a good stress,
if the atmosphere is full of kindness and understanding and help.
I know our lunchroom staff.
And they have kindness and understanding aplenty,
if anyone would like to join me in helping our newest students learn the ropes of the waste sorting line,
please join me at 11:00. I will meet you by the fish tank -- just inside the main entrance, under the stairwell.
Also, more ruminations on Islands, like ours.....
I was thinking about Washington Island.
Thinking how "progress" spread its transformative fog over the land,
from the industrial centers,
up and out into the hinterlands, up to this remote peninsula,
and finally leapt over "Death's Door" to Washington Island.
If you drive up from Chicago you recapitulate this process.
And the farther you go, the more the "atmospheric pressure" drops,
the cleaner the air gets,
the horizon opens,
the air quietens,
the density of humans drops.
When you cross the strait at Death's Door,
and the mists swirl around you,
and the cormorants and pelicans lead you on,
you are crossing another threshold.
And when you dock and disembark,
you are standing on a remnant.
You are as far as progress can go.
Islands are separate.
Darwin recognized that islands are places for experiment.
On Washington Island they are experimenting with organizing a better life and community.
They are experimenting with self-sufficiency.
They are wondering about clean water,
and clean energy.
They are wondering about producing organic foods,
and producing clothes.
They are wondering about their sewage and how to handle it.
And they are wondering about transportation and gasoline,
and about propane and heating homes.
They are an Island and so they can see their borders and can imagine their limits.
They can imagine the power, coming from the mainland, being cut off,
and the supply of food, and cell phones, and batteries, and.....
Can you imagine how our lives would change if our "island" were our city block or two.
And that we were responsible to handle all our waste on site?
And all our sewage?
And produce our own energy?
And grow our own food?
Our inputs and outputs today are almost magical.
The stories of their comings and goings are shrouded in mystery.
And mostly, we don't care or pay attention or just take things for granted.
But that cannot last.
Alas, our Big Island,
our own lovely Planet Earth,
is destabilizing under the weight of our abuse
What if this were the only planet we had?