A Completion and a Beginning.
Most of life is just day after day—the rising and setting of the sun, the turning of the seasons. One day blending into another.
But then, there are the milestones, those events that mark a new phase in one’s life: the birth of a child, a marriage, the death of a loved one … and yes, the completion of one’s studies in high school or college.
For each of those events we have ceremonies. Our families and friends show up. They congratulate us and bring us gifts or cards.
This past Tuesday my granddaughter graduated from college. By the time I deplaned in Newark to witness her achievement, she’d already completed her finals and submitted her senior thesis. She’d spent days hugging her friends and saying teary goodbyes. She’d packed her boxes and suitcases. And she’d earned the credits and grades to graduate from Princeton University with high honors with a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Then, the next day, we all flew away, and we left her alone to construct a new life for herself.
On my plane ride back to Seattle, I imagined her sitting at the dining room table in shorts and a T-shirt. She presses her lips together and opens her laptop. Pausing for a moment, she hesitates because whatever she does next has personal, real-world consequences. Then she takes a deep breath and begins a Google search for her first post-college job.
What it will be and where it will take her, no one knows. But this week as she begins her new beginning, I send her all my love.
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” —Confucius
A personal note:
The weather at graduation was too cool and wet for my new dress. Sometimes, I guess, it doesn’t help to plan ahead.
Now I need another event.