This short summer sabbatical has been fruitful in many ways: energizing, relaxing, challenging and restorative. Highlights have been hearing my colleague Weicheng Zhao play brilliantly at the June National A.G.O. finals in Houston and a two-week trip to Costa Rica in July.
Language immersion experiences are intense. Sometimes it feels like hitting a wall: “I can’t possibly cram any more information into this tired brain!” And yet, I persevered and made some progress at the Intercultura Spanish School in Heredia.
My Spanish language skills have incrementally improved, and my driving reflexes have become razor-sharp! Driving in cities and out in the country of Costa Rica was a blast, with lots of deep breathing.
For most of August, I have been happily at home, able to practice, read and relax.
I spent a week in my All Saints office, mid-August, to make final choral repertoire decisions for the fall/winter and to monitor the applications for the Coventry Choir soprano section leader/soloist position. We received a large number of applications for this important position, from which I have chosen nine top candidates to audition in late August.
I will complete this sabbatical time with a short trip up the coast, culminating in a retreat at the Center for Spiritual Renewal at La Casa de Maria in the hills of Santa Barbara, ready to return energetically to work on September 6.
I am deeply grateful for this restorative time.