The Tunnel at the End of the Light

Lately I have been confronted with two startling realities. One is that my potential retirement is only 7 years away. The other -– and this one has been hovering at the edge of my conscious thoughts for years –- is that I may very well lose my sight someday. Somehow the two ideas are inextricably connected in my mind now. I have had a great career and am still having a great life, yet there is a big missing piece I can’t quite grasp. Something I am not doing. Or haven’’t tried.

Two days ago we watched the midnight fireworks to celebrate our collective need to go buy a new calendar. Today I spent hours watching two retired teachers’ pictures of their triparoundtheworld. It was very nice this time, but it also made me think back on all the travel slideshows I have had to watch over the years – many of them excruciatingly long with their cringe-worthy captions and painful muzak soundtrack. After the show, the couple launched into a detailed itinerary for their next trip and I couldn’t help thinking: Is this my future? Taking snapshots of the gaudy interiors of cruise ships? Thirty-nine years of teaching followed by thank god that is over and now I can start living? If I am not living fully now, I doubt I can learn to do it at some legally ordained future date.

This is my life now. I am a mom. I am a teacher. I am a traveler. I am a writer. I have 50+ years worth of stories that I have told and retold and retold. I have experienced a plethora of aha moments in classrooms and at tables. My students have taught me so much and my kids have raised me well. I have tried and erred and rewritten the rules of English grammar. I want to get it all down on paper before it fades into darkness.

And I want to let the words travel.

To see where they take me.

And where I have been.


One thought on “The Tunnel at the End of the Light

  1. What were you commenting two days ago? “Well, it’s about time. Yeaahh!!” I’m throwing that right back at you. At long last you’ll be doing the one thing I believe you’re best in.
    Another thing on your midlife-crisis 🙂 remarks: my dad is about to loose his hearing (much neglecting any aid available to make it last). I like his reply on my urging him to use his “ear glasses” regularly: “Was ich im Leben hören sollte, habe ich alles schon gehört.”
    Much love from the North


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