I always loved going and buying school supplies as a kid.
The truth is, my heart still beats a little faster when I'm in Target in August and I walk past bin after featured bin of gel pens, highlighters and notebook paper. It brings back memories of my mom taking us to buy our supplies a couple of days before the start of school.
School supply shopping always brought about those mixed feelings of sadness regarding summer being over and excitement about being one grade older. I remember making our way back into the school section with lists of what we needed in hand. (It shouldn't surprise anyone that even back in elementary school, I already loved lists and the ability to check off boxes.) It was always thrilling to buy a new set of markers and mechanical pencils, and likely a fluorescent-colored Trapper Keeper. (Remember those?)
I would pack up my backpack full of my shiny new supplies the night before school started (okay, three days before school started), and the excitement about all that was ahead for the new year would make it near impossible for me to go to sleep. It was the start of another chapter, a blank canvas, or in our case… a blank sheet of wide ruled notebook paper. Armed with my new backpack and the intense hopefulness of youth, I was certain that anything was possible for the year ahead.
For the first time today, I walked through our space where the future Art House will be built and experienced something close to this first-day-of-school feeling. After more than two years of walking through this old space with low-hanging ceilings and closed-off hallways, trying to imagine what it would look like when we cleared everything out, I finally laid eyes on our blank canvas.
The demolition process is complete, and with all the interior walls and ceilings removed, the bright sunshine streams through the windows, bounces off red-orange rafters and touches the top of the 30 foot roof above that hasn't seen sunshine since it was built decades ago. Later this month construction workers will come with all their supplies, like the first day of school, and start to create with their new materials: new walls, new lights, new doors, new paint. The new Art House will be built. And with the same intense hopefulness I experienced before the first day of school, I am certain that anything is possible for this year ahead.