The First Day of School.

The First Day of School.

The First Day of School.

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The trees are full and abundant. The wind sings through the rustling leaves.

The hum and harmonics of the insect world create their own symphony as the sun takes its gentle time receding.

Couple this with the enthusiastic sounds of kids on bikes and skateboards, throwing and bouncing balls, bursting with sheer physicality and freedom knowing that the coming days hold long hours of sitting in chairs.

This time of year always offers me a sense of nostalgia coupled with melancholy.

We always spent summers in New York with my Dad so coming home right before school started, I often felt set apart from the summer bonding of the shared experiences of my friends.

The beginning of school ushered in my awareness of not having a clear sense of belonging, with my kitchen table haircut, hand me down clothes and general sense of awkwardness accompanied by anxiety with a hint of desperation.

My own children entering school had a whole different layers of fear for me. One of the ways I dealt with those fears was to reach out prior to school and in the early years, ask if the teachers needed help setting up their rooms. All of the teachers that I offered this to accepted gladly and with blunt scissors, sitting in small chairs with my knees crushed into my chest, for years, I helped set up many a classroom.

I also volunteered until it embarrassed my kids, music and movement in the classroom! 

Writing this now, my kids are grown. My oldest graduated high school in 2014 and has gone on to be this amazing self directed learner and has completed courses of Divinity to become a Pastor.

My daughter Riley graduated from high school this past year in 2019 and chose Carlow University In Pittsburgh, an hour and a half from our house and is committed to studying Psychology and Gender Studies. 

Her path of selecting and choosing her place of study accompanied with supporting her navigating college life in a wheelchair has been an exercise for me in trust and surrender.

I have to trust that my adult children can make decisions and problem solve.

I see my children as having had a whole team of people, a village, throughout their lives shaping, guiding and supporting them as they develop dreams and goals and strategies to achieve those goals.

I was blessed this past week to lead an inservice day teaching Resilience Building, Compassion Fatigue, Trauma and Mindfulness to teachers in the school district where my children attended public school.

It was a full circle experience where I looked out and saw in the training, so many people that have shaped the lives of my now adult children.

My heart has remained so full from this experience and I send my deepest wishes and prayers for a safe, happy, healthy, curious, passionate, relevant and connective school year to teachers and students everywhere!

Signing off on this beautiful cool night, in a neighborhood that is quiet with the anticipation of the first day of school!

ABOUT AUTHOR

Rachel Allen

Rachel Allen, B.A. Political Science/Sociology, is a Certified Music Practitioner, Sound Healer, Reiki Master, and Registered Yoga Teacher with a trauma informed/social justice framework. She has 20 years experience of working with some of the most amazing people on the planet; hospice patients and their families, patients in a variety of health conditions, survivors of sexual abuse, adults with mental illness and most recently, incarcerated women. Rachel is also passionate about supporting and working with caregivers to reduce burnout and compassion fatigue. Locally, Rachel teaches Creative Movement at Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA. Regionally and nationally, she teaches and presents at conferences and retreats, weaving live music, yoga, and creative movement into themes of compassion, self acceptance, and transformation. Rachel is committed to engaging people from all walks of life in the healing arts to create healthy, diverse, and joyful communities.