I am a huge fan of beginnings. Beginnings speak the language of hope and possibilities for me. A fresh clean page in a notebook could become anything I want it to be – from a mundane to-do list to the first page of a novel to a love letter. Beginnings make me think of puppies and kittens and school shopping (new notebooks! fresh pens!) and springtime blossoms.
But you can trick yourself into thinking you’ve started anew.
My dad has a magnolia tree that produces the most beautiful blossoms. And nearly every winter that I can remember, right around when we are most desperate for the warm breath of spring to rejuvenate us, he cuts a small section of a branch off and brings it inside. Within a few days, he has this to show for it:
As this winter seems unending and other energy-dragging forces take their toll, a bit of rebirth seemed just what was in order. So here is a short list of beginnings that I have been enjoying this week:
- Donalyn, Colby, and I have been talking about upgrading the Nerdy Book Club site for a long time. This week, it happened. And every minute we put into decision making and planning and actually doing the 3+ hours of offline updating was so worth it. I’m grateful to get to work with them and delighted that Deborah Freedman and Tom Angleberger lent their artistic talents to the project. Besides, I got to write this post about it with Colby in the wee hours of the morning over email.
- I have taken a few minutes for the last few days to jot a few more lines of a novel I’ve started. Who knows if it will ever get finished. Or see the light of day. But I’m excited about the idea and curious about where it will go, so I’m totally pantsing this one. I’ll thank my students for encouraging this one – and my Facebook friends. :)
- I had the best bowl of Rice Chex EVER yesterday. There is something about that first something you eat after one of those wretched stomach bugs that is so good that it seems impossible to fully explain in words.
Nearing the end of a big project also gets us psyched for what comes next. By this time next week, we’ll be done with two performances of The Wizard of Oz – the first musical I have been a part of since high school. I’d forgotten how much time you get to spend together on something like that. It’s all coming together so that almost every practice feels like we’ve added some new piece of the stage or the lighting or special effects (“Run, Toto, run!”) so it feels NEW.
The yearbook is nearly finished as well – so while the site was down the other day for maintenance, we started brainstorming about what next year’s book might look like. Talking about themes and covers and layouts was invigorating and we got all kinds of stuff done the next day when the site was up and running.
In the interest of celebrating new beginnings, I’ll be blogging daily for the month of March as part of the Slice of Life Challenge. I’ll probably add another quick post later about my day to be included in that.