It is Children’s Day – in India of course. I think of my students and know that we do not celebrate them on ‘any day’ here. Okay I did not mean to offend you, and some of you may disagree but you know what I mean; a designated day like all other days huh-huh yes, including those Hallmark days. I make a mental note that I will take a candy each and talk to them about Children’s Day in India and tell them about how they the children, I mean make my days wonderful. I know I know they have just had Halloween and probably those pumpkins and pillow sacks are overflowing with candy already and then there are those parents! They may not approve of one more candy. So, you see the cap on the number? And oh yes, all these thoughts are running in my head as my legs spin in a frenzy to the music that is blaring in the gym. I have often wondered as to how I got used to the noisy music and now after all these years, I think I can say that I have learnt to cut out the noise and focus on what’s important ie., my workout and the instructions of my instructor. Don’t let that fool you though. There are days like that children's day when the internal noise does not go away no matter, but most days are good. A good 45 minutes of no thinking but just doing!! I do listen to my instructor most of the time though. It is an intense work out and if I have to feel like saying “Good morning God!” vs “Good God! Morning (smiley with rolled up eyes)!”, I simply need to listen! As I get off my bike and head towards the cleaning supplies, I hear her (still listening, you see) ask someone if they had fun playing pickle ball. Mind you, that early morning in the gym working out at those bicycles well - we are all mostly older people . It is kind of strange though how my workout buddies are either retired or mostly teachers. I am not kidding. Makes me wonder as to what it is with teachers and early morning workouts. I can tell you though that endorphin rush helps me through the day! The others, I mean the spinners include mostly bikers and sometimes runners - you know to cross train, and not to forget a young spring chicken popping in every now and then to check out the class. Anyways, I find it interesting that the instructor is talking of play on Children’s Day and am even more determined to let my students know how they inspire me and also decide to allow myself to play a little with them. Not that I don’t! I do. But then many a time I have all these conditions like ‘weather’, ‘shoes’ and what not. Fast forward almost a month later today, just this morning as I watched her spin with the same enthusiasm in a very very pleasant pink outfit, I was wondering as to where does she get that energy and attitude that early in the morning. You got it. I wasn’t my best self and today is one of those days when my body felt like jello and my mind was running a mile a minute – a bad combination for anyone, anytime; not to speak at 5.30 am! I persist! Yes, “She Persisted” and with gratitude towards persistence, as I head towards the cleaning supplies, I hear her ask another spinner if he had a good time playing! Lo! I think. There is my answer – that childlike enthusiasm to play, really play as an adult. That’s what keeps her motivated and keeps her happy which she shares with us so easily! As I step out of the gym, I realize it is chilly, like I cannot tell you chilly, what with that wind too. Just a couple of weeks ago as I went on my walk, it was all beautiful skies. The earth below seemed to be basking in the beauty of the sky and the sky above was smiling down at the colors of the earth! Kites were circling around. I had wondered about birds circling and had made a mental note to look it up. The moon in the sky seemed happy as the sun shone on her too on that beautiful fall day. Airplanes were leaving a contrail behind them as if in abandon or was it me just noticing the patterns of those contrails more in the sky. Every house had decided to let their pets out and the dogs were running around, barking, communicating with one another, with the walkers and the bikers on the street. As I continued the walk, inhaling the joyous smell of wood burning in fireplaces and backyards, catching bits and pieces of conversations of neighbors standing across yards and talk about this and that, all I could think of was the joy of the season. Now here it is, the joy of the season! The windchill hits me making me pull my coat closer, then the hands reach into the pockets of the jacket seeking warmth. The sun is crisp and shining down, as is his nature. But that barely helps. There are birds chirping, some murmuration even though the branches are bare and I can see the abandoned nests, so I think! That barely helps either. I get in the car, turn on my radio hoping that the car gets warmer sooner. The song that is playing is “Frosty the snow man!” much to my delight, very apt for the season. As I pay attention to the lyrics while driving to school, I am transported to the magical world of frosty, children, sun, and the magic – of the season, of the world and of just living! I am excited for the day. I want to talk about all these with my students. It is time for our Reading bell, and I am loving reading “A Wrinkle in Time” to my students out loud. Just that idea of a wrinkle in time!! How fantastic! I find the right moment to talk about my musings to my students as we reach the part where the children in the book are transported to the fictional planet Uriel! I start talking about magic, the magic I feel around me and to my utter delight and some disappointment, I listen to students talking about magic and science. They want to appear grown up! I love the enthusiasm surrounding the conversation though, I look at their completely engaged and alert faces and eyes, ideas and thoughts running freely from their mouths. I just fall in love with the magic of children and teaching, again! I am also amused looking at the eager faces wanting to be ‘adults’ and ‘rational’ and smile at my own need to enjoy that ‘child like’ wonder and joy whenever it presents itself - children wanting to be adults and adults wanting that childlike joy! PS: Here is the link to the song – my students were shocked that that version exists even! Enjoy!