May 16, 2016

There Is No There Anywhere

It’s almost nine pm and I'm sitting in a small halo of light outside my cabin on Tioman Island, listening to the waves sing their songs as they gently roll in the darkness. I am the good kind of tired. The kind that starts with a pre-dawn wake up, a bus, a ferry and a three hour trek across a rainforest in the tropical heat. The kind that soaks your shirt with sweat and empties your water bottle. The kind that teaches kids as we walk to enjoy the journey of the hike instead of wanting to be there, trying to gently remind them that there is no there anywhere. Ever.

These kids are young and full of smiles and a restless energy that is very different that the apathetic stoicism that can plague grade eights at times. I am reminded that the sixth grader is a very different animal than its older more cynical cousin the eighth grade. Their innocence is much more childlike and malleable. I am excited about working with this age next year. But then again this is day one- I am curious what they will look like in a few days of being away from home. They were troopers on the 10km hike today.

I was able to jump in the ocean as soon as we arrived to camp and as I lay on my back allowing the cool water to wash off the sweat, I looked up and saw a heavy moon peaking behind the clouds. This is my element. This is where I belong and I am so grateful that I have so many opportunities to get out into nature, and even more so to teach kids in it.

I was thinking about how luck my own kids are, and how Kaia is currently on another island in the same sea just a few miles down the coast of Malaysia. And as I observed the energy and excitement of the grade six students in my charge, I can only imagine her love for life right now as she snuggles in her bed with her friends ready for the adventures that await her for the rest of the week.

There is not much else to say tonight. It is hot. There is only a fan and a sarong as a sheet and the waves and the darkness. Tomorrow is another day and I am looking forward to spending some time in the ocean, under the sun and in the sand.

This life we live is something pretty magical and blessed, and I always remind myself to think of these moments when I might even for a second think otherwise.

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