I used to come out of school at the end of the day and just sort of gawk. I’d lift my head, look up, look around, and marvel at the day (or evening if it was one of those days). Sometimes it would be freezing but crisp and clear. Sometimes the chill would be accompanied by the threat of weather, a presence in the air, a warning. Those were the days I would just hurry to my car.
Some days the hood would come up, head down, run (or walk really purposefully!). Yikes!
Some days were different though. The air would actually smell good. There would be a memory there, and a desire to remain, just a little bit longer. To feel the sunshine or the lingering warmth of just missed sunshine for a moment. To ponder what had been missed.
You see, in those days (like, all of two weeks ago), coming out of school was like coming out of a bubble. All day long I would exist in that bubble. Buzzing about, doing my thing, living my work life. I would peek outside the bubble at lunch time.
“Mrs. Scannell, do we need our coats?”
I’d refer to my watch, report the temperature. “Well, it’s 46 degrees today. I’d wear a coat. It’s sunny so it is going to feel nice.”
Decisions would be made, coats abandoned for sweatshirts or coats retrieved as an afterthought. They were venturing outside the bubble. I could have gone out, but the lure of sitting with adults, indulging in conversation and food, would usually keep me in. Inside the bubble.
I’d get home, husband would arrive. “Wow, cold out today,” or “It was such a beautiful day, chilly but sunny,” or “Felt like (insert some type of weather here) all day.”
“Hmm,” I’d reply, “I wouldn’t know, I just got out of the bubble.” It always bothered me, but it that was just the way it was. Entire swaths of weather would glide on by week after week but I’d be in the bubble.
And now I’ve traded one bubble for another. This bubble allows me out to walk. And I do appreciate that. It feels good to stretch my legs and move. But it’s a lonely bubble. It’s the wrong bubble. I picture each of us existing inside bubbles but unlike the old bubbles which were buzzing with noise, people, activity, these are safety bubbles of aloneness.
But all bubbles burst. School getting out in June, or for a break, would have been one way to burst the old bubble. Going back to school will be how we burst this present bubble. Trading bubbles.