Commencement is tomorrow.
The final college farewell for my children, yes, unless either of them surprise and wind up in grad school. But in the truest definition, my boy finally will commence to get on with whatever is next for him – which in the immediate aftermath is a trip to Iceland with his sister.
I can say the usual astonished parental things – wow, where did the time go? I can’t believe it – but no, really, I can believe it. The past seven years of University of Virginia experience have been wonderful, but that course has been run, and run well.
He knows, we know, that day is done.
Just as she was, he is ready and eager to head on down the road – likely westward toward the Rockies or perhaps the Pacific expanse. Doubtful that an extended detour through Thailand and Southeast Asia are in his cards, as they were hers, but something equally spontaneous out of him would hardly shock me.
I don’t lay claim to inspiring that spirit of adventure in them; I stayed in the same job 31 years, the same house 20-plus. They come by their world view and their thirst to go see, feel and taste honestly and through their own inspirations. If anything, they – and certainly the lovely and awesome Dee — have helped motivate my own commencement. Have helped me shake the inertia of routine and mindless comfort, the torpor of fear as well, and replace it with open-ended possibility.
Fresh eyes scan our horizons. Full hearts guide our next steps. We’ll gather tomorrow to recognize the miles covered, seal them in their special corner, and embrace boundlessness with its deserved gratitude and grace.
What a time it is to begin. Again.