Any time spent in the company of children and young adults, especially in uncertain and disturbing and distressing times, can be balm for the soul. Whatever that means. But if you spend your days with kids and young adults, especially if you do so on a regular basis in the business of school, you know what I mean, even allowing for the usual joys and sorrows the job brings.
I get my share of that balm as a has been teacher who reassumes that privileged mantle in the setting of teaching music at home, and reading and talking to students about writing, and sometimes singing songs with the younger kids.
A couple of weeks ago, I had three consecutive days of it, first singing Hallowe’en and other songs with a good friend’s kindergarten class, whom I thank for their responsiveness, and their mannerly behaviour, and their readiness to sing and join in the actions that accompany some of the songs.
The next day I had a bouncy two hour ferry ride to Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy, and an even bouncier ride back to the mainland (check out the video at https://youtu.be/lp96sSS4gtY), and in between enjoyed ninety minutes at the island’s library, reading from Colorland, Black Water Rising, and Riot School to fifty grade nine and ten students from the adjoining Grand Manan Community School.
On the third day I was singing Hallowe’en and other songs all over again, this time at the Town of St. George’s Fall Festival with a bunch of little kids stoked with Hallowe’en candy (preceding, and inevitably eclipsed by, the incomparable Perly the Magician).
Three days that remind you, as you struggle to come to terms with the reactionary mania that seems to be all the rage with the mindless set, that here, among school children, there is still joy and confidence and delight and acceptance and love. And, in the end, it will be all right after all.
There will be sunlight later.