Although we are several weeks past the beginning of the new school year, fresh school supplies still tempt me.
I remember shopping at TG&Y with Mom, imagining what the new school year might bring. Would this be the year she would buy the box of 64 crayons with the sharpener on the back?
Alas – it never happened in elementary school. Many years later, one of my friends treated me to the coveted 64.
Every year, shopping for school supplies represented a new take on hope.
It was akin to the cleaning of the chalkboard – the chance to start over, to learn more facts, read more books.
The energy of a new year felt as fresh as the package of #2 yellow pencils. Would my teacher like me? Would I be chosen to pass out the Weekly Readers on Fridays?
Even into high school and college, the hunt for the perfect pens, the best paper and the sturdiest notebooks required research of the ads. We clipped coupons and drove all over town for the best bargains.
Many years later as a single mom, it was difficult to save the money required for school supplies. The year Caleb needed an electronic calculator completely tanked my budget.
But even then, we shared the excitement of a new year and the possibility of meeting new goals. We shopped at K-Mart, then celebrated with pizza and Pepsi.
Now as a writer, school supplies birth new journals, gel pens and legal pads for first drafts such as this blog post.
I wait until later in August or even September, after the kids have already chosen their supplies. Then I dig through the discarded piles to find my treasures.
All year, school supplies bring excitement – waiting in my stash for the day I need a new journal, a fresh pen or a whiff of ink from a new marker.
And every time I open a new package of gel pens, I revisit the years when school supplies meant a new start.
Hope implies a beginning again, fresh grace – the forgetting of what has been and the reaching toward new growth.
Whether it’s in a classroom or the quiet office of an introverted writer, we all need the promise of hope.
Here’s to those pens and papers that invite us to believe again.
©2018 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
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