Back to School

This week’s photo-prompt , thanks to CE Ayr, has a sense of isolation and one I am sure many people are feeling in the present atmosphere of Covid restrictions. At the same time there is a sense of peace in the image that I feel when walking along a quite beach early in the morning, preferable on a Caribbean island rather than along a cold, wind swept coast.

More stories from Friday Fictioneers.

PHOTO PROMPT © CEAyr

Back to School

John relished the solitude of his dawn stroll. He walked and breathed in time with the natural rhythm of the waves as he listened to the soft adagio whoosh of water washing along the sand.
His mind relaxed and emptied of all invasive thoughts as he concentrated on the peace of the moment. 
Mentally refreshed and calm, he felt prepared with emboldened fortitude and leadership expected from a head teacher.

His knees trembled as he watched.
After an enforced break, over excited, chattering children arrived as their pale-faced parents waved anxiously from the gate.
He wiped his forehead and smiled.

33 responses to “Back to School

  1. A bit of purposeful respite can give one the peace to face anything. “he listened to the soft adagio whoosh of water” is relaxing just reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the contrasting scenes. What a day he’s going to have. A timely tale. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There’s nothing like a walk by the ocean. I used to do it every day. There’s also nothing like what we’re experiencing now.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A wonderfully crafted story James, I like the way the meditative first half moves into the start of the long awaited back to school day. Very topical and insightful. Noted that the parents are pale faced, understandably so.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We rely so much on the dedication of teachers and head teachers, and you portray that well. The structure of your story highlights the stress of doing that job.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Long known for it’s relaxing effect, the ocean is a wonderful medicine for the worried soul. I felt bad for the teacher, though, who still had to face down his fears at the beginning of the school year. I wonder if it was his first year as Head, and that would explain his anxiety.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I know so so many teachers who feel this way. Well told.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful storytelling, James.The “soft adagio whoosh of water” perfectly captures the early morning sound of waves. What more can you ask for than such reassuring sounds of peace?! But the first day being a headmaster, and anxious parents, and excited kids … Yeah, I’d be sweating too.:>)

    Liked by 2 people

  9. What a juxtaposition in these two scenes. You give him such humanity in the first section, and then reality in the second.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. How important it is to have these moments. You can see there is a reason he is “head teacher.” Love the juxtaposed images of the beach and the schoolyard.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m sure a daily stroll in the peace and quiet is essential in his job!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Strolls along the beach are the best therapy. And free… for now. Bet it makes him a better teacher.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. don’t we all need time and space like this to refresh ourselves? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Clever juxtaposition of two worlds, James.
    The first part is pretty much how I live my life.
    The second part I wouldn’t ever want to try!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. During the day John was able to shift his thoughts occasionally back to his stroll along the sand, the cool breeze on his face and the whooshing of the waves. Those moments sparked unexpected smiles that refreshed him and intrigued others.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. A big day for students and teachers alike. A timely take indeed James!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. At least he has time to breathe and prepare for the onslaught! Wonder if he can do this every morning?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Very on topic and I enjoyed the way you made the head teacher – usually a figure of strength and authority into a very fragile human – we’ve all been affected even the head master.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. It must be very stressful to be confronted with all these excited children after such a long time. I hope he remembers the calm and peace he got from the sea.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. From the quiet solitude to the chatter of children is palpable in your story, James. An enjoyable read … Be Safe 😷 Isadora 😎

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Teachers have been real heroes throughout this crisis.

    Liked by 3 people

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