Sixty four and out of the classroom for 6 years — now I learn about cappuccinos, frappuccinos, frothing the milk until it might be spooned from the pitcher to the cup. How to order the rows, clean the counter, tong the cookies that I must not touch. How to follow the new program: inventory here. Register under sales. Role the Z tape. Count for the coffer. Count for the till. Greet those who enter. Smiling is easy. Let your mind role over all those books you have read. Let the titles come out for others.
Now I learn how deer will bed in deep cover feet from you as you walk. Scent is their second nature. To do everything with care: step into cover. Draw back the string. Tie the stock to the rope. Sling the bag over your neck and shoulder. Climb the ladder slowly. Keep three points on the rungs. No one is near to help if you fall. Be methodical. Be present. Think before you move. Sit. Tie off your bag. Lift the bow. Load the bolt. Find the spot. Dress for the cold that slams into you in the wind until your chattering teeth might give you away. Be still. Pay attention.
This, the inheritance of father, mother, my driven colleagues in the HS, the bequest of my own energy and focus: love and family are the true gifts and creations of this life, but work and purpose are the threads that bind all of it together.
Now I must keep writing. Keep listening. Keep moving. Keep entering territories unmarked, green and empty of trails.