Imperceptibly, the days are getting longer. That's what they say, anyway; my ride to and from work this morning made it seem otherwise. The dark, dark clouds, pouring rain, and evening fog made it seem, if anything, like the days are shorter and more dreary than ever.
Or maybe it's just hard transitioning back to winter from two summery weeks in New Zealand:
The likes of this picture was James and my reality for the last two weeks--a reality that provided exactly the right amount of distance, both physical and psychic, between me and school. Two weeks of not worrying about lesson plans or how to shuffle the seating chart around or what book I might next be able to recommend to Kyle--or really even thinking about anything school-related at all--was absolutely spectacular. And now, even though I would like to have stayed in New Zealand for at least another month, I feel like I'm ready to tackle work again. I'm still not sold on the educational system, I mean, but I feel like I can again give my best shot at making it better. At least in my classroom.
But oh man. New Zealand. You can see more pictures here if you're so inclined; if you do look at them, I suggest flipping through them in big version (or slideshow), since the little version simply does not do the landscape justice. It's impossible to write a summary version of our trip here, but perhaps I can say it like this. We camped a lot, hiked a lot, saw a bunch of cool cities, lots of sheep, lots of deer pastures (like cow pastures, only for deer), felt like Lord of the Rings, and basically had a great time. There you go. New Zealand in a nutshell.
And now here we are again, in the dreary Portland winter that is sure to stretch on interminably. At least, it'll probably feel that way for the next few months. But maybe the days are getting longer after all; maybe tomorrow my morning will feel just a little brighter; maybe one of these days I'll realize I'm heading home and the sun hasn't set yet. In the meantime, I've had two stolen weeks of summer in the midst of it all, and that's pretty damn rad.