Back to school, for now

Welcome. We are getting closer bean season , the season for root vegetables and apple cider, at least here in the Northeastern United S...


Welcome. We are getting closer bean season, the season for root vegetables and apple cider, at least here in the Northeastern United States. The greenmarket signifiers of fall are heartwarming, like shifting leaves and shifting light: seasonal constants on a planet where nothing seemed certain for some time.

Seasonal constants for this season, at least.

This year, many of us are adding an in-person return to school to the fall itinerary. For parents who have been performing the delicate choreography of home and hybrid learning for the past year and a half, this may be the most welcome (or, for some, nervous) of the fall traffic signs.

In the past, September and school supplies were synonymous. Now, sending children to a classroom that is not a room at home is a gift, we know it could be revoked.

What else have we taken for granted? What other things do we perceive to be certain that might turn out not to be?

National parks. Shipping in two days. Go to the cinema. Youth hostels. Hair loss. Grandchildren remaining children.

Today, why not take a look at some of those things that seem permanent and think about what you would do if they were to change or go away? It’s a low-key way to appreciate what’s happening now while acknowledging that it’s not forever. You can do it with things you love and things you don’t care about. The trees in front of the window, the traffic, your neighbors, a meeting. Drop-off and school pick-up, masked or unmasked. Go to work or take time off, at home or away.



Are there any “constants” in your life that you have recently realized are actually not that constant? Tell us: athome@nytimes.com. Make sure to include your full name and location and we may include your response in a future newsletter. Were At home and away. We will read every letter sent. More ideas for passing the time, whether you’re at home or away, appear below. I’ll be back on Friday.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Back to school, for now
Back to school, for now
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