It's funny how we think of September as a beginning. Many of us are hard-wired to think of this time of year as the start of school and all things routine. If you are like me, you crave the rhythm of routine. I think that's a polite way of saying I am a bit anal retentive. It's all how you spin the word. The other day I heard someone on the radio say we ought to engage in more inner subjective experience. He meant, quite simply, we ought to spend more time daydreaming. Inner subjective experiences, or daydreaming, allow us the space and time to be creative and inventive. Or so they say.
So my latest inner subjective experience reflected on our summer.
We started the summer by saying goodbye to our teachers and friends with the end of school routine. For Rachel and Janneke, this has been a pretty smooth transition from school to being home full-time. Soon after school's end, Ralph, Em and Soph had a chance to visit Ottawa for the national festivities on July 1. They had a great vantage point for seeing and hearing inspiring speakers, singers, and performers.
Ralph and I had a chance to visit Switzerland and Holland. It is a production for us to go away locally for one night, so this was quite the complicated event to plan. We had wonderful help with Christina and Kaitlyn, as well as nursing staff, and the kids were in one piece when we returned. It was wonderful to hike the Alps, bike along the North Sea, walk through Amsterdam and visit the Moes homestead in Diever. A wonderful memory.
We did try to camp again. We are thankful for the same old souls who camp with us, but we are not certain we will take Rachel and Janneke camping again. Our summer also included a few visits to the hospital to learn more and better support Rachel through her growth and development, specifically as it relates to the increased levels of pain she is living with. Given that pain and concern, we were thankful to end our summer with a visit to a private residence on Lake Erie that included plenty of space for Janneke to scoot around and a heated pool where Rachel was incredibly happy. And just before summer's end, I took Em and Soph for a quick camping adventure at the good ole' Pinery.
So we move into our routine, seeking harmony with the different activities and responsibilities that weave into our weeks. Kids are back in school, and Luna is back to sleeping on the couch.
Part of my time will be spent learning more and writing more about Community and Belonging, particularly as they relate to families and students with special needs. Much of my focus will be Christian (independent) schools, as that is what I've been asked to help support. One thing is clear, there are many amazing schools in our province, publicly-funded and independently-funded, and I hope to one day see equity in services for families caring for children with special needs, as they choose a school that best fits their child's needs. This means learning to understand our government ministries and learning to understand our smaller communities as they move and work within our larger communities.
It seems, more than ever, that we ought to be looking at what we have in common - not what divides us. At times, the local and global news is mesmerizing, sad and challenging.. so much so that it seems silly to blog about one's summer. Yet, I know that we ought to keep going - and encourage each other along the way.
So.. cheers to summer. And wishing you the best as you start your own routines, rhythms or inner subjective experiences. We are in this together.