1. On campus they have a "no walking on the grass" rule (weird, eh?), which kills me this time of year when the leaves are falling and make a gorgeous sound underneath my boots like opening the wrapping from a birthday present . I park on campus and Nora and I hold hands while using the crosswalk to get to her school (it's right across the street). We do her morning work together practicing the muscles that make the letters. And then I go out and cross, but I don't use the crosswalk when it's just me--and the direction toward my office is east and the sun is breaking the trees apart in red and gold light and the leaves respond under my feet, and I'm surrounded, flaming. And I'm thankful to start the day on fire because this is what it requires.
2. Every semester a theme develops in all of my classes. This semester's theme seems to be this: You never know exactly who you are. But don't let that stop you from making important decisions on your own behalf. Don't stand, deer in headlights style, in front of the difficult maneuvers each day requires and think you'll mess it up if you choose a direction. Act. God will work with it. And this is the process of letting the old self die in order to be born something else. The leaves open the gift under the path I choose. I have always loved movement.
3. I'm so thankful for Prof. R who walks the halls with his coffee pot, too, filled with water from the bathroom. And he shakes my hand. Then I run into Pastor J and he makes Rocky style boxing moves when he sees me. And Farmer Ben reminds me that I'm "the man." Like the fire in the sky, the people around me lift my hope and this makes it easier, in turn, to choose.
4. And I choose to open to this movement. I know you don't get biceps like these staring at the five year old or the rock salt or the dirt or the seeds as light as light. I'm not bragging. I'm just saying.