I don’t typically speak bluntly, in simple terms about my feelings, because often they are neither blunt nor simple. Certainly I don’t write about them here that way.
But right now I’m going to.
Tomorrow school begins again. One child in first grade, another in kindergarten. They’re excited about it and raring to go. But me? I am worried. Down. Troubled. Pessimistic. This is not typical for me.
My entire life I’ve always been an optimist about the future, and even more than that, fall has always been one of my favorite seasons of the year. The start of the school year has, since I can remember, been a special time of renewal and optimisim for me, them moment when I knew most powerfully that the year ahead was going to be a good one, that all would be well.
I don’t feel that this time around. I feel a creeping dread, as though I’m being stalked by a tiger in the undergrowth that I can’t see or hear, but that I know is there, ready to spring out and devour me.
I’m not sure why. I don’t know what I’m picking up on. It’s nothing in particular, nothing that I can put my finger on. But I haven’t lived on this planet for four decades to come out the other end clueless and with bad instincts. My subconscious mind is picking up on something, even if my conscious mind doesn’t know what it is.
Trouble is afoot. A storm is brewing. This season will not be easy.
If we make it to 2018 with all pieces still in place, everything more or less intact, and everyone more or less happy, I’ll be relieved.
In the meantime, I am taking deep breaths and trying to tread quietly and alertly. I do not wish to be taken by surprise; least of all when I know very well, somehow, that the tiger of some variety—though I haven’t seen it yet—is on the hunt.