I’ve begun thinking about the rest of the summer.
For a couple of years, the district I work for offered summer work, leaving only two weeks in the summer for summer vacation. As of last school year, however, many of our schools voted to end year-round schooling (called track schools in DCSD parlance), and rejoin some form of 9-month calendar (called either traditional or modified, depending on whether the dates in session matched the high schools; only the elementary schools were ever on track schools).
The reason this is significant is the summer vacation is one of the major reasons I took the job in the first place. Back in 2004, I was just getting used to the idea of My Lady’s demand that I become her priest. For one, I felt that I had a long road of training ahead (oh, the folly of youth, leading to that understatement of the century!). I was working construction at the time and found it hard to perform any amount of extended spirit-work with the schedule I had. On top of that, I was working weekend Renaissance Faires. When I saw an opening for a bus driver at a school district near Columbus, I saw an opportunity to step up my practice, and took it.
Four years later, my summers were no longer free as they once had been, as I had come to Colorado and my present driving job. The rest, as they say, is history, but there is more to the tale. In 2008, I saw a change of scenery, a change of job location, and a change of identity, in many ways. I was somewhat well-known in Ohio and some of the Faires there. Here in Colorado, I was literally an unknown. Much of my summer’s extended work was put on hold while I established myself, eventually joining Silver Branch Golden Horn while we reformed the group into an ADF Protogrove. This hold lasted until July of last summer, and I regret to say I still feel like I’m playing catch-up on it. While the work done for SBGH and then The New Village Grove was quite useful, it was to the detriment of more personal forms of practice, at least the forms that require an extended leave from work and a certain degree of solitude.
So now, after catching up on quite a bit, I face the coming end of the summer break – route bids, dry runs, training, and finally student transportation. I look at it with a small degree of dread, because of all I’ve been able to accomplish this summer, but also with great anticipation: I enjoy both my work as a priest and my job as a driver immensely, and it would be hard to let go of either one. I have a strong feeling I may have to do just that, perhaps not right away, but soon. We’ll see. Regardless, an ending and a beginning is coming up, just as this 4th of July was the same for me. The end of one step, the beginning of the next in my life’s path.