On the Horizon

some woman
just like me
tests the lock on the window
in the children’s room,
lays out tomorrow’s school clothes,
sets the table for breakfast early,
finds a pen between the chusions
on the couch
sits down and writes the words
Good Times.
i think of her as i begin to teach
the lives of the poets,
about her space at the table
and my own inexplicable life.

                              — Lucille Clifton


So today I solidified some of my GRAND PLANS FOR CHANGE.  I have a very ambitious lesson plan for next week.  Not in terms of the content area work we’ll do but in terms of making us into more of a group, in terms of bringing Tania, Elias, Joseph, Carlene and Ronald in from the edges.  (Wish me luck!)

In other, amazing and still-not-quite-real-to-me news, I have some plans for the summer.  If I get accepted into the writing workshop, that’s going to cost me.  And it happens clear across the country, so getting there and back is going to cost me, too.  Add to that the fact that my mom’s family is putting together a reunion the weekend before the workshop begins and I want to try to fly down and join them.  And somehow with all that potential travel — and right after paying my painfully high tax bill yesterday — I had been trying to figure out how to afford a trip to Mexico.

But then I got this: the offer of an all-expenses-paid trip to the Cayman Islands!  Oh, I’m not kidding.  One week on Grand Cayman, all the bills picked up by someone else.

Yes, there is a catch: I have to co-chaperone ten children, aged 9 to 11.  Um, yeah.  It’s a little bit daunting, but not even close to a dealbreaker.  The kids will be staying with host families on the island, so I wouldn’t have to put them to bed and get them going in the morning.  I’d just have to keep up with them as we get squired around the island on our various adventures — last year’s trip included helicopter tours, swimming in stingray city, snorkeling and a butterfly village.  I think I could handle that.

But it really doesn’t feel like an actual thing yet.  I keep thinking I’ll walk into work and someone will tell me it was all a joke, or that someone else is going to go instead of me.  I don’t think that will happen, but such an open-handed gift from the cosmos just feels a little unreal.

“Here child,”
the universe tells me.
Hands me a deliciously wild
and says, “It’s yours.  It’s free.”
Curled quietly in my palm,
her gift, a sweet, honeyed soul-balm.


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