This is a difficult post. I started it this morning and let the day unfold around Robert Browning Hamilton’s poem. I sensed it would be a day of both pleasure and sorrow.
I resigned from my teaching position. I won’t go back next year. There is nothing calling me back now. My heart has a special place for Stony. It is not a school. It is more, a community where people meet, greet each other, and learn together. That faded and I leave while I still hold the goodness and richness I found there; my narrative untarnished.
I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chatted all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne’er a word said she;
But, oh! The things I learned from her,
When sorrow walked with me.
I learned the most about who I was and about what was important to me through loss. I almost resigned a year ago, but Kathy, with her uncommon common sense, convinced me, for various reasons, to return. I am glad I did. I looked forward to work each day and learned with this small group of students. I completed grieving about the loss of a one of a kind school, “but, oh! The things I learned from her/When sorrow walked with me.” Last year was the wrong time to leave. I would have remembered only the bitter and not tasted the richness of the fruit this journey bore.
John Kabat-Zinn said, “Find a Job with a capital J. Stop doing other people’s work.” I would add one small caveat: complete the journey before you exit. Leave nothing behind and look back only at the good that came of it. Know you served well those you met on the path. Hold your head high.