Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Summer School Chapter 30: One Frog Leads to Another

After finishing the semester discussed in the last chapter, Alex became very sick and was in the hospital here in Tallahassee for several weeks. He has since recovered and has moved into a home that is closer to his parents. We have talked briefly over the last few years, but I haven’t seen Alex and we haven’t turned the yoga frog book into a play.  Yet.  

 I have acquired new yoga frogs since then, none as large, none as inspiring, and I have not missed the laughing praying yoga frog for a single day because it is exactly where it should be.

At this point in my actual summer of 2017, I’m thankful to be writing this story for you so I have something to do besides staring at Twitter and recalculating how to weigh points in my next syllabi.   If I can help shine a light on the plight of Tallahassee Community College students facing homelessness and profound costs of living with complicated diseases, then this time will have been well spent. 

A few weeks ago, during the middle of this summer school story, a treasured student - Mallie - sent me a picture on Facebook of two cute yoga frogs that she found at TJMaxx.  

I think about adopting them, but I don’t.   I binge watch Netflix and take myself running and walking and spend quality time on my yoga ball and practice staying sane every time Zoe drives away.

Days later Mallie asks if I’ve gone to get the frogs YET and I say I'm going but I’m really not in any hurry and I don't go because I really hate that parking lot because it has all sorts of Starbucks traffic backed up in it combined with starving people racing to Chipotle and if you've been there you know what I'm talking about. 

I know what to do.  I just trust Mallie. She’s assigned me three awesome books in a row, better than most of my professors.  I give up resisting and go to TJMaxx to see if the new yoga frogs had waited for me.

Of course, they were there, of course.  A green one and a white, larger than most of my other frogs,  both sitting in lotus position, and a steal at only $6.99 each.

I scoop them up and then I get the very strong feeling there is treasure nearby.

My left hand reaches down towards something round and hard and as I lift it towards me I know it’s the reason that the yoga frogs brought me here today.

 It is a copper statue of a happy reclining frog holding a candle between its knees.  The candle appears to be telling the frog a story that only the frog can hear, a story that makes the frogs face shine with joy.  

If you look at it one way the frog appears to be gazing down into the imagined and expected warmth of the unit candle; if you hold it another way it is looking skyward, basking in the invisible warmth of the unlit candle.  

 Yes. Yes, it is perfect, it is amazing and it inspires me and I bring it home and promise to not let myself light the candle a single time until after I finish writing this entire summer school story for you.