Don’t know where it was taken, by whom or when.
But I love this photo.
It is as though these children are the petals on a sunflower.
Beautiful and full of life.
Sitting on a grassy hill watching the graduates walk through the gauntlet of their applauding professors last weekend brought the closing of a chapter in my daughter’s life. And as quickly as one chapter ends, another begins. Job hunting 101.
As I sat on that hill soaking it all in I recalled a moment from my own college days. Cheryl and I were college friends. One weekend we were riding down a long Indiana country road with her dad on our way to a championship college basketball game.. Cheryl’s dad, Oral, had a gift with words as his name would imply. He was funny, straight to the point and shared wisdom freely, whether it was solicited or not. As we chatted about the game, classes and plans for life after college he said something I have never forgotten.
“Girls, think back to how much you changed your 4 years of high school. You’ve changed that much again these past 4 years of college. And be prepared, the next four years after graduation will hold as much change if not more.”
As I look back over my life I can see the wisdom in his words. Change is inevitable, prepare for it, expect it, embrace it. And it does seem to come in about a 4 year cycle. The events in those cycles can be welcomed, planned and anticipated like college, career, travel, marriage or children. And they can also be unexpected, painful and difficult such as job loss, illness and relational difficulties. Regardless of the origin they bring change to both our circumstances and to our character.
Each cycle has its own lessons to be learned, struggles, emotions and rhythm. And change. I’ve never forgotten Oral’s words shared that day. Expecting the changes that come has encouraged me to keep looking forward. I’ve watched others in my life resist change, refuse to adapt and fail to continue the learning process. They seem to have imagined that time and circumstances would stand still for them. In resisting they have lost sight of the adventure that life continues to bring. I look forward to my daughter’s next 4 years and the many changes that will occur both in and around her. Knowing that I too will need to not only accept but embrace the changes.