June is a joyous time of year for school children. Summer vacation lies before them, offering a smorgasbord of fun and freedom. Walking out of school that final afternoon, children feel such joy and relief from the tedium of study.
When I was a child in the sixties, I had an additional reason to rejoice. Because educators wrongly assumed that I needed special teachers to educate me, I was sent five hundred miles from my home in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta to Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind in Vancouver. Being deprived of my family and all I loved for three or six months at a stretch made me yearn for summer in ways words can't adequately express.
Being home was like paradise to me. Instead of being woken by a dorm supervisor, I slept in my own bedroom until I felt like rising. Instead of eating institutional food, I ate meals lovingly prepared by my mom. Instead of being with strangers, I enjoyed the company of family members. Instead of going on occasional supervised outings like escorted prisoners, I roamed the town freely. Best of all, I was away from the school bully for eight wonderful weeks.
I look at our lives here in this world in much the same way that I once viewed my incarceration at Jericho. Jesus said in Matthew 24:32-33 (KJV), "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors." Nobody knows when Christ will return but we can tell that this world is growing worse by the day. As my dorm mates and I waited eagerly at the end of june for the school bus driver to take us to the airport, we knew we would soon be out of that impersonal institution and back home where we belonged.
You can find out more about my Deliverance From Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School) memoir by clicking here. I also post excerpts of my writing here.