Monday, August 25, 2008
Our daughter Phoebe finished her summer job on Friday and is now getting ready and packing for her junior year of college. We went down to the Point for a wedding on Saturday and I was pressed into service Sunday morning since the scheduled priest at St. Peter's was ill. We had one last afternoon on the beach, one final water ice, one final gathering with friends and family. And then the summer was over and it was time to go home. Pack it up and head into the next season. In my experience, it is always easier said then done, these transitions from season to season, especially when fall is knocking and the lose scheduled, relaxed encounters of summer are replaced by more rigid schedules and inflexible structures. Even the times in my life when the border between summer and fall was not sharp and, like now, I have more flexibility than some years, it is still a huge transition time, full of bittersweet moments and a real tangible sense of loss. There are times when I am still inhabited by the kid who had to be dragged off the beach the very last day of summer, dragging my feet and filling my pockets with sand so as to remember these days. And of course, it was a perfect last day of our summer. Warm but breezy, beautiful blues skies and a warm ocean. That only adds to the hard cruel yank that fall is to me.
So today, I want to remember all of us who are in transitions - between seasons, between employments, between relationships and between communities. I also want to pray for those who have come to an end of a season and sense they will never return. Those who have faced loss and rejection, and those who have had to leave something or someone behind. Transitions are difficult and we all have to navigate them. Some of us do it by kicking and screaming, having to be dragged away with sand in our pockets. Others pretend to move with grace from one season of life to the other. However you do it, it still leaves a mark on our hearts and souls. May we all find laughter and tender moments in these days. May we all forgive ourselves for our sentimentality and our desire to "never grow up." May we let God lead us gently into the next phase of our journey. And may we remember today, that there are many, many others who are in transitions, struggling across calm and stormy seas. They need to know they are not alone in the voyage.