Bet you thought that title said something else at first glance! 🙂 It’s inspired by something that has happened periodically over the years, the return of student after a lengthy absence.
It would be great if all the people who have graced our Bagua school never left, attended every class, and continually improved their skills. Alas, the demands of life often intervene. Simply put, students come and go as their life choices require. Some only miss a few classes, some are absent for weeks at a time, and some just vanish with no explanation.
So when anyone has been gone long enough to consider them as having left for good, it is wonderful to see them walk in the door! It has happened enough times that the feeling I experience is predictable – a huge wave of pleasure and gladness at seeing a former student back in the class!
It’s as if a long lost brother or sister had set out on a long, perilous journey with the real possibility of never returning. As time goes on they start to fade from the mind as current concerns fill in the mental space they once occupied. What is particularly wonderful is that their return now adds a feeling of that space being recreated and added to the current ambiance of the classes. In other words, a returning student helps create a feeling of instant expansion of the school.
The analogy of a returning sibling is not an accident. The feeling I love the most in classes is of a group of brothers and sisters getting together to help each other learn Baguazhang. I find myself feeling more and more like an older brother than a teacher even though my function in the room is the same. It is this feeling of siblings caring for each other’s progress in the art that is the source of my reaction to the return of a student. It truly is the feeling of a long lost family member coming back.
So to all those long lost students who may be reading this, your older brothers are here waiting for your return. Come, let’s continue the Jiulong journey together!