Tuesday, May 21, 2013

living life forward

I don't know about you but  usually I do not remember the speeches at the graduations I have attended. Sure there are snippets--the young friend whose middle name is so appropriately Sunrise bounding onto the stage barefoot. Her enthusiasm for life contagious and uplifting. That was the memory. Another young friend giving a heart felt speech--she had not chosen to be planted in our area but just like a young seedling she made the choice to flourish here. Such a complete and honest speech for one so young.

Of course there were others. The over long speech by a teacher chosen by the students. Alas all I remember of that one was how hot the sun was. How I wanted those great words "And in conclusion..." There was the famous speaker at the prestigious school whose voice echoed from the loud speakers. No, I don't remember a word he said. I was just hoping there would be no more rain that day.

Indeed I only remember snippets from my own graduations. Eighth grade where I wobbled to receive my diploma on high heels. Not my forte. The great aunt who despite grave illness made it to my high school graduation. College I avoided. I was not into ceremony back then.

This time it was different though. It was someone near and dear to me. I had known him since he was the cutest six year old. And I had been there before. Only vague hints from that time too. This time though I paid close attention. What memories would it stir? What would I learn? This time, the setting was formal and ceremonial. The chairs lined up on the floor. Such wonderful patterns here.

The graduates marching in. Adding the human element of design to the basic pattern.

The ceremony of the robes. So ornate and colorful.

The designs of the graduates on the floor. Adding that human touch to the patterns of the chairs. Hard to capture with the lights and Jumbotrons.  Yes, isn't that almost a quilt--adding the human touch and variation to the regular patterns?  (Of course I know my readers were waiting for that--weren't they?)

The speaker quoting Soren Kierkegaard:

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

Something to contemplate isn't it?  Inspector General Donald Verrilli mulling over the events of Boston recently. Reminding the graduates that much will be expected of them. That the way to prepare was to live your life every day responsibly and intently--using your best judgement and being of service. That these resources that you develop as a daily basis will serve you when events demand even more of you. This actually stuck with me as true and useful.

Yes, this time the ceremony moved me to tears. It was after all the graduation of my step son who had worked so very hard for his achievements and all I can say is Congratulations on a job so very well done. I can't wait to see what he does next. 

What do you think? Has this happened to you?

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