Last year I loved volunteering with a Grade 6 class in a school near Belmont. And I loved those kids. This year they’re at a new school – in Aylmer. I met with the three Grade 7 teachers before I went on my meditation retreat last fall and again when I got back in December. I’ve been waiting to see if they’re willing to have me volunteer. I e-mailed them when school started up in January and said I’d show up this morning to hear their decision.
I pulled into the school parking lot with a little smile on my face. How very much I want to spend more time with those children. And yet being allowed in the classroom is out of my control. How amazing life is. The Buddha taught that craving leads to suffering and here I was craving big time. But the smile said more. I feel a deep connection with most of those kids and I know that connection will remain, even if I’m not in their new school.
If the Grade 7 teachers say no, I’ll approach the Grade 5, 6 and 8 teachers. And if they all say no, it will be unpleasant, and I’ll be very sad, but that would also point to the unknownness of life. Getting what I want just doesn’t always happen. And happiness can be there beside me even then. Thus the smile.
I showed up at 8:00 and found one of the Grade 7 teachers. Kindly and politely, she said no.
Twenty minutes later, as I sat on a bench in the hallway, here comes number two. He smiled when he saw me. In the classroom, I asked him what he’d decided about me volunteering. He said that he’d like me to work with small groups of kids about once a week. His words didn’t register. We were talking about days and times when I finally got it. I’m in! My mind continued to process while my heart exploded and my eyes filled.
Minutes later, the third teacher also said yes.
I cried on the drive home. I get to be with people I love. I get to contribute to another school. I get to live fully, in precious moments of contact with young minds and souls.
Thank you, dear forces of the universe, for holding me in your arms.