Change of Seasons

We all have defining moments in our lives that help shape our future as well as our memories. Some happen by chance, but others are an eagerly anticipated part of life. Marriage. The birth of a child. And graduation from high school.

Pinkerton Academy and Londonderry High School graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2015 are now one such memory, with hundreds of students sent off into the next phase of their lives. It’s an ending, no question, but it’s a remarkable beginning as well.

From a parent’s perspective, graduation is an unmistakable reminder of the all too quick passage of time. The trusting eyes of a newborn and the small hand held on the first day of school now belong to a young adult – likely taller than his or her parents.

We rarely see ourselves getting older, but there’s no denying it when you hear the name of your child announced as a member of the graduating class.

The graduates have reached the official end of their “childhood.” While they may never have it so good again, they are now officially on the path to building a life of their own, whether the next step involves college, work, travel, or military service. They’re now responsible for their own decisions and for what the rest of their life becomes.

It’s exciting – and it’s serious business. The life we make for ourselves – on our own – is the only one we’ll have.

Graduation is a rite of passage for everyone involved– that’s what all the robes and decorations and parties signify. It isn’t called commencement by chance. For both student and parent, it’s the beginning of the rest of life. Not much is more exciting – or scary – than that.

And for those not directly impacted by a graduation this year? School will be out this week, and summer and the solstice arrive Sunday, June 21. Lately we’ve had the appropriate weather for the season change, and pools are filled, flowers are blooming and gardens are beginning to produce the early crops – had your rhubarb pie yet this year?

We celebrate the passage into summer and the change for young people from classroom learning to experience on a broader scale, whether in a summer job or on the playground.

Our wishes for the graduates – and for everyone else at this season of change: Be safe. Be bold. Mistakes are inevitable. But don’t be afraid to take that leap into creating the future you dream of.