There are many people in the world who love spring. They love the warm weather that shows up, the change in seasons, the beautiful blooms on their rose bushes. Or, if they’re lucky enough to get invited to the beer garden, they love the beautiful blooms on my rose bushes.
These are the same people who are pretty upset by the cold, rainy, dreary weather we’ve been having this week. I can understand that, I’m not too pleased about having to go in and out of the portable in the middle of this frigid weather. However, I’m not surprised by it.
Because this weather is perfectly suited to my life right now.
You see, late-March through April is pretty fucking shitty if you’re a teacher. Even more so if you’re an ESL teacher who is in charge of the all the paperwork for your students and you have to have meetings on top of meetings to get all of it done because the state of Texas hates you. We have the STAAR test in April – at the beginning and at the end. Kids are under pressure and fed up with studying, teachers are freaking out…you know the drill.
Just when I think that I’ve got everything under control, and the sun has come out and my life is almost picturesque, that’s when all of it hits the fan and I’m plunged into cold, unfeeling freezing rain.
Weather, my friends, reflects our lives. Never more true for the United States than this week, in fact.
We had that terrible tragedy in my adopted-future hometown at the beginning of the week, when it appeared sunny and bright. The next day, after the facts had a chance to really sink in, it was frigid. Then, while we’re still reeling and the manhunt for the perpetrators of this crime got fully underway, we hear that a fertilizer plant has exploded in every Dallas-ite’s favorite pit stop: West, Texas. After seeing the images of the mushroom cloud this week, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to walk into the Czech stop without looking over the Sonic roof, expecting to see it there.
An hour after that news, the skies opened up here and cold, cold rain poured down. It was still raining when I dashed to my portable in my Las Vegas galoshes the next day. I should have taken it as a sign that all the heartache would make its way into the classroom.
As a teacher, I always try to challenge how my students think and encourage them to analyze a situation. That does not mean, however, that when my students asked me why it was that so many first responders died at the explosion in West, my heart didn’t break for them as they realized the truth: sometimes the people who suffer the most are the best ones, because they’re willing to put someone else’s life ahead of their own.
Yes, I said, I agree that it isn’t fair. Yes, that makes it extra-sad.
And yes, I said, if I knew that I could help people, I would go help them even if I were in danger as a result.
That’s the one that really scared them, I think. Because suddenly, those people were real. Those people could have been their teacher. And it changed the way they felt about both tragedies.
So to me, it was fitting that it stayed pretty chilly throughout our week’s end.
Now, as we’re starting to recover as a nation, the weather is trying to do the same. We’re still up set and cold and dismal, but there are little spots of light and warmth throughout our days- like hearing Sweet Caroline from stadiums all over the US. Maybe I’m just a softee Sox fan, but that warmed my heart more than anything else this week.
It is my deepest desire to see that warm hope carry us into a better season, in life and in weather. And, while we’re at it, for the Red Sox. Last year was embarrassing.
End note: I would like to go ahead and tease you with the fact that I will, next week, be relating Texas weather to If all goes as planned. Which it won’t. But hopefully I’ll still be awesome and write it. And hopefully, as I write it, I’ll be in an uber-bitchy mood. I’m always at my funniest in those moods.