Admittedly, I haven’t written very consistently of late. It is the end of another school year and all the festivities have been occupying my time and energy. Our family was so tired that we overslept, even the kids, which in and of itself is a miracle. Baron missed his 9am soccer game, but that’s just way too early in my opinion anyway. And the boys and I missed church. I spent a little time surfing the net and wordpress and was inspired by a friend’s post to take run. I have mentioned running before; I seldom do it unless someone is chasing me. But this morning, it seemed like a good idea. With the emotions of the past few weeks, it would be a chance to be alone with my thoughts. And with two little ones, that’s a rarity.
So off I ran this morning toward the lake. It was a great run. The temperature was perfect; the breeze was steady; and I was indeed alone with my thoughts. I didn’t see so much as a bird once I crossed the little creek past the last faculty home. It was perfect!
Now, being a lover of music, it didn’t take long for me begin singing in my head. What really surprised me was the song that invaded my thoughts. I had just watched the VH1 Top Twenty Countdown with my husband while surfing the net, so all the current music was bouncing around in my head, but that’s not what came to me. I was revisited by the bagpiper from graduation. (As we are a Presbyterian school in the mountains of Ga, the Scottish heritage is alive and well. We even have a school plaid.) She played “Simple Gifts.” And as I ran, I kept humming the tune and repeating the words in my head. Here’s the part that stuck with me:
Tis a gift to be simple, Tis a gift to be free,
Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
And it occurred to me that despite all the joy and sadness involved with the end of school year, I was literally and spiritually in a “valley of love and delight.” The students who we said goodbye to yesterday were certainly a delight and we loved them deeply. Unlike a day school, students and teachers at boarding schools become a family. We are together all the time. We eat omelets on Saturdays in our PJs at the dining hall. We attend chapel together. They play with our children. They come to our homes to eat, play games, and watch movies. We share our lives. We love them like sons and daughters and hope that our sons and daughters will be as amazing as they are. We rejoice when they succeed and we help the rise when they stumble. They make what we do completely worth it!
And then it occurred to me that I was exactly where I “ought to be” and that it was “just right.” The sadness of losing this special group of students is as it should be. That’s the reality of high school. They move on. So, I turned to my joy. They are ready. Not just academically, but personally. They are people of character and faith. They have faced obstacles and wanted to quit, but pressed onward and found success. They have learned to advocate for themselves. They are equipped to go into the world a make a difference. And they will: two are going to Westpoint, one to Harvard, one to play soccer, one to dentistry, several to teach, and much more.
They are my delight and they go with my love!