I rode the bus yesterday. The school bus. Not by myself, but with the other “kids”. We were taken to another site to sit in the school year opening ceremony. I sat on the bench with a mix of respect and fear… Odd feeling…
It brought back old and dear memories from my very first day of school… I could smell the lilac in the air.. I heard my footsteps on the sidewalk, and my mom’s voice telling me things, which I can’t really recall; her voice was reassuring, caring and nervous at the same time… I remember passing by a lilac bush and grabbing a leaf. It smelled sweet, green, and warm, like the sun that it had been trapping inside it throughout the summer… I put it in my brand new uniform pocket and it made me feel safe, like an oasis of calm. The school yard was swarming with kids and parents, and flowers were intoxicating the air…They called my name and I felt myself let go of mom’s hand and following the sound of the voice who had called my name up on the stairs. The hallway was just as crowded and the voice had left me. I was alone in a sea of moving, loud, rushed bodies and felt scared all of the sudden, what if I got lost?!
I saw a hand reach out to me and I took it. “Do you remember your class letter?” I couldn’t see the face, but the voice was kind and calm. “A”. “I’ll take you there.” the voice said. I felt pulled through the mass of people and in an instant there was light and air to breathe. I filled my lungs anxiously…I was in front of a class, also full. My teacher came to me and asked me my name. She took me to my seat…. that’s all I can remember. I never knew who the voice was, but throughout my life I heard it from others many times when I was in need.
I believe it’s now called the “good samaritan syndrome” this impulse to help others. Like it’s some kind of twitch, not a voluntary action…Why would anyone make a good thing into a disease, I’ll never know… but learning from example, and oh, so many times, too, I proudly declare myself contagious of this impairment. I’ll pass it onto you if you want. All you have to do is come close.
The crowd was wild yesterday, and you could feel they were ready to be out of there. But they were entertained, happy to see each other, ready for a new beginning. Until the speech about the future cuts came… Lucky for all of us, teachers are still interested in sharing their knowledge, and in the midst of the event the news didn’t really kick in… It is a new page. Maybe this story will have a happy ending! I know I’ll use my syndrome a lot this year, to be close to as many as I can!