The library is closed. The children have left. Debris is scattered everywhere. Only my two teachers and I remain to clean up the remains of paper, left magic boxes, tiny tomatoes that somehow were not eaten at the luncheon we had the last day. One student returns because he forgot something, or maybe because he just doesn’t really want to leave for the last time and is stalling, giving himself a chance to do what he did, wave one last time and say goodbye and that “It was so nice to meet you.” He had done great work and he knew it. The other two teachers are busy taking clothes pins off lavender ribbon where we kept the Portfolio Center, and the library will go back to being what it is — a library.
The quiet after the storm is not just a hackneyed phrase: it is what we are experiencing now. Pencils are rolling one last time across tables. Scissors are being put into sacks for some occasion as yet unknown, to be brought out as school approaches or next year. Everyone is tired, but happy with how things went. Everyone can see one thing that should have been done better. Did we select the best play for “Best Play”? We are not sure about that one. Did we make a mistake or two. Probably. Did we do a great deal of truly good work. Undoubtedly. So now we will clean up for the last time.
The next time I write, it will be from Kosovo.
Merrilee Cunningham, WITS Writer in the Balkans