Though I am a teacher, my summers have never been full of a “break”. Most years I always lined up a summer job, and if not that than I was taking grad classes full time. This summer, I had planned on actually taking a break due to my pregnancy. I was planning on spending the summer relaxing and daydreaming and getting ready for my baby to come. I envisioned creating the calmest nursery space that would eventually be able to be easily transitioned to a child’s bedroom. Purchasing baby clothes and washing them with Dreft. Finding out whether it was a baby boy or a baby girl. Settling on a name. Feeling the baby move. Slowly planning the baby shower with one of my cousins for Labor Day weekend. But when the baby died, I was staring at a summer that suddenly seemed really bleak. Now, I would be taking the break to work on healing my heart somehow.
Like libraries and bookstores, being in the woods, out in nature, has always felt like a type of church. Being there calms me, brings me some peace. I decided I would spend my summer exploring places within a certain radius of where I live that would feed my soul, so to speak. So I did some research, and pulled up Google maps, and made a list of places where I could day-trip. Several nature preserves, hiking trails, wildflower preserves, lakes and rivers, state parks, arboretums, botanical gardens. I added a few small museums for good measure as well. I’m glad to have some sort of direction for my summer, especially since I’m anticipating I’ll have lots of time to think and dwell.
In between these mini-trips, I’ll be preparing for the next school year; because teachers never actually take the whole summer off, even if they decided to take the summer off.