Today I thought about attachment. I noticed myself getting attached to ideas about attachment. I noticed myself thinking about how I wanted to write a blog post about my ideas about attachment. And I remember feeling like I had discovered something new about myself while thinking this hard about attachment, as if an opening had been created. Really, I'd just become attached to ideas about attachment.
A funny family member once said to my husband and I as we were preparing to leave town and his wife ran upstairs to check if we'd left anything, "Well, you could just drive off without saying good-bye and teach us about non-attachment."
It's funny because it's true, but also devastating, the idea of having driven off without giving a hug and a kiss and saying goodbye.
I'm thinking about attachment lately because I've finished teaching yoga to children in the schools. I won't return until the fall. These children are a light to me. They become like friends, whether or not they know it. I have no children of my own, but working with them keeps me humble and grounded in non-attachment, to be sure. I learn how to go with the flow, accept whatever arises with kindness and an open heart, have fun each and every practice and ask the questions no one ever thinks to ask.
So to say good-bye to them for the summer, well... it makes me a bit sad, you see. I'll miss them. And I know as it goes with children you teach, they probably won't miss me much as I'll miss them and think of them. But that is besides the point.
It's in seeing them walk off into summer that I am reminded of my own summers spent in Florida at the beach or in Chicago in a cool, tiny bedroom. I'm reminded of the comfort of home and what I did not yet know. And how I had a longing in me to grow up and be an adult. A longing too long to bear. I thought it would never come.
And it has.
I took a walk tonight, thinking it might unhinge me from ideas about attachment and my greater attachment to the kids. I watched the sun set. I listened to the birdsong die down for another night. And in all of it, I felt the full rush of one season leaving us and another one arriving - summer on the heels of spring like a dog.
And all it did was cause me to cherish my time with the kids even more as I missed them, all in the same breath. A longing too long to be called a longing. Much more like something called grace.