Seeing my breath

This morning I headed out my front door in suburban southeast PA, and I could see my breath.  According to my dashboard, it was 52º F at 6:30am.  If you are ever so unfortunate as to spend any length of time in my presence, you will know that I don’t like being hot at all, and that I would prefer that there be only two seasons: autumn and winter.  The chilly air was quite invigorating, and I zipped up my fleece and rolled down the windows as I zipped along the winding roads out to 309.
I used to hate the autumn when I was young, because I loved playing hockey and wiffleball all summer but hated school.  When I got to college and realized that I actually liked learning, I began to appreciate the other aspects of autumn.  I love tossing the football in the backyard with friends; I love watching the World Series (unless, like last year, I detest both teams).  I love the new school year, with fresh possibilities and undiscovered truths–welcome renewal of the mind after a hot, busy summer of work and travel.
This will be the first September in quite a long time that I will not be heading “back to school.”  My dissertation proposal has been submitted, and now I’m working on a few other research projects.  But there will be no first day of class, with new books,  friends old and new, and a fresh GPA.  There will be no “first day of school” photo of my wife, as there have been for the previous twenty-one Septembers: K-12, then five years of college, and finally three years as a teacher.
Remember when you first learned to ride a bike?  Your dad ran alongside your bike as you got moving, and then you looked back for a second–and he was thirty feet behind you!  I fear that formal education too often convinces us that we cannot learn without training wheels or a parent huffing and puffing beside us.  My graduate education taught me how to study and love learning on my own, for its own sake–not simply as a means to an end.  I hope and pray that I can “keep riding” sans training wheels in this next season of life.

About Benj

I’m a native North Jerseyan, transplanted to Pennsylvania...lived and taught in Eastern Europe for six years…Old Testament professor, ordained minister, occasional liturgist…husband to Corrie…father to Daniel and Elizabeth.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Seeing my breath

  1. tori winn says:

    I love chilly fall CRISP weather as well! This could very well be the last autumn to experience it, so I am so excited! bittersweet more like it.

    Great insights!


    • thinkhardthinkwell says:

      Thanks Tori! I hope this is your last autumn in the States for a while–because that would mean you’re in the field next year.

      Are you going to come see my band play at PBU tonight?

  2. Corrie Giffone says:

    I just miss back-to-school shopping. Although I don’t know- do homeschoolers do back-to-school shopping for supplies? I got a list of supplies each summer so I could show up on the first day and find out who’s parents loved them enough to buy them the big crayon box with the built-in sharpener or the water colors with two columns of color choices and not just one. And I would try on all my fall and winter clothes with the hope that I needed new stuff. It was fun. Maybe I need a new box of crayons this year just because.

  3. RickyV says:

    I had that same September withdrawal last year. It is a weird feeling for sure…23 years of the same routine and then you’re done! Enjoy it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s