This time of year, lists seem to be everywhere. I love how the pile of syllabi, conference schedules, plans for fall chores, and new team configurations gives a little sing of energy, just as the mornings turn a little more crisp.
But no matter how creative, a list is just a sketch, a guideline for organizing. At the end of a class, the syllabus reminds us of wandering the stacks, discovering the book that inspired a whole new arc of research. At the end of a home improvement session, the list of chores prompts an image of the crazy new butterfly that appeared as we tidied the garden. At the end of a job, the resume entry recalls the hallway debate that led to the research project that led to the friendship that slowly took root and held fast.
Dear ones, whether work or school or home or life, a good list can help to inspire and focus and organize and summarize.
But the syllabus is not the learning, the chores are not the home, the resume is not the experience, the list is not the life.
Let’s use our lists as intended.
Speaking of lists, here is one of our favorite kinds! Our summer book list is full of creations that have inspired ideas and wonder and imagination – may it spark some of the same for you. I hope you enjoy the wandering, through and beyond the list.