There is a looseness, a joy, a kind of informality that lives at BFS during the summer months. Our material reality is shifted, no doubt, but it is us, the adults- teachers, parents and caregivers, who allow this change to be. We are less buttoned up, less constrained. There is sun and warmth, there is vacation and a general sense of unfolding from ourselves and our expectations. Our children soak this in, flower and thrive in this uncultivated ground. I note every year that they are so adaptable in the summer- floating between classrooms, saying hello to new teachers, goodbye to treasured ones. We make it easier for them, as we grease the wheels of change and growth with our soon to be slipping away sense of summer ease..
Everybody is allowed to be a bit more human in the summer- its warmth enters all dynamics, letting trust build. At this end of August moment, I am chuckling to myself thinking about the idea that we don’t always allow our young children to be fully human. Our current societal need to inculcate routine and rigor, our ready, rushed embrace of a standardized school experience, feels, in my summer self, to be slightly absurd.
We take our work and community seriously here. And, part of our work is to create a sense of joy for the children, and yes, why not, for ourselves. What do we want to teach our young children about daily life? About the potentiality of human relationships and collaborative endeavors? I want to ask all of us, before 1 more week passes by and the “school year” starts, to carry as much of our summer selves with us as we can. Stash it away within us now for reserves. Store its fragrance in the folds of our tissues, so that our children, attuned to us as they are with their endless senses, can still access its scent.
I’m inviting you to join me in setting an intention to bring a sense of summer ease to our interactions here, in this community collaboration. Can we allow even its slight presence to linger and to nurture us all in the coming seasons?
Our recent graduates, along with Lizzie and alumni Zulai, enjoying their last Free Space summer.