“All shall be well. All shall be well. All manner of things shall be well.”
– St. Julian of Norwich-
Every year around this time, a little sadness would set in as a dark cloud would loom in over the final days of summer. It was inevitable. The new school year was around the corner and there was no escaping it. Even as someone who really liked school growing up and then chose to stay in the school setting as a teacher for several years, the end of the summer always felt the same way. It was just a little sad. The freshly stocked school supplies and new back-to-school shoes my mom made us wait to wear until that first day definitely helped build the excitement, but what is it about endings and new beginnings that get us feeling a little low?
For me, the close of the summer meant that I had not accomplished everything I had planned for during my time off, even though it was probably full of wonderful experiences I was choosing to overlook. I had reached my limit for summer. Time was up. And then on the other hand, the beginning of the school year was brimming with several unknowns, stacked high with expectations I wasn’t sure I could live up to. No wonder it left me feeling a little heavy!
Here’s the truth of it all: in all my years as a student and then as a teacher, that feeling always came at the end of the summer, but in a few weeks time, it also always went away. It would slowly fade with each new day as I got to know my new teachers better and remembered how much I missed seeing my friends and got back into the groove of the school year. Routines are tough to start again, but when we do, we’re reminded and empowered by how capable we truly are.
Since last March, a lot of us, myself included, have lost our routines and fallen away from some of the things that used to bring us so much life. The hardest part now is starting again. And unlike a new school year, which comes each August whether our children want it to or not, sometimes we need that nudge to dive back in. We need the encouragement of our loved ones and those around us to put on that new “back-to-school” mindset and dive all in. But the reality is we need each other. It’s the familiar face of an old friend, the kind gesture of a new teacher, and the encouragement of those around us to get back involved that makes the transition into any new season possible. Just as Jesus needed his disciples, we truly need each other. So say goodbye to those end of summer blues. A new beginning–a new hope–is on the horizon. Are you ready? Tap into your inner child–that one that is a month into the new school year–and let them remind you, “All shall be well!”