The way ahead seemed at once both clear yet so uncertain.
Never was there any doubt
about the voyage that was faced.
The only questions at the time were about the destination.
Futures always uncertain
as the course ahead was traced.
Just like it was for Father the rural life did beckon.
Returning home a teacher–
the thing that was wanted most.
Physics, Math and so much more, you don’t get to be choosy.
The students’ futures were all that mattered
in that small school by the coast.
Got married there, first son born and another would soon be coming.
Nine years had passed quickly.
Things had changed as all things do.
A new challenge presented–teaching physics at a distance.
Secondment meant to move away;
a career to start anew.
It was supposed to be for just two years but you know the way that life is.
You stand upon the next big rock
and your vantage point is changed.
And twenty-one years later reveal shores that look so foreign
from a vessel that over time
was refitted; rearranged.
And what a journey it has been! What friends I’ve met! What things I’ve seen!
What an honour to have been a part
of what’s kept rural places alive.
Throwing down the barriers, rendering distances transparent
meant a way of life we’ve fought to keep
could continue on and thrive.
The students: some struggled, some coasted and some soared on high,
each one with their way to find.
Some were mine to guide.
The colleagues: all so different; each with something to contribute.
The mentors; givers, best of all;
on whose guidance I’ve relied
Together we’ve navigated stormy seas and lands uncharted.
Tears and rents we fixed together.
Always hope for what’s yet to be.
But the journey will continue on, with one less hand on board her.
I’m looking to catch the next boat out.
A new voyage I just can’t wait to see!