Sue Halverson

Wow, this thing called life. What an amazing journey. And probably the single most important thing I have learned along the way? This journey does not end when you hit the so called “milestones” in life: graduating from high school, finding your significant other, accepting that once in a lifetime employment opportunity….

One of my first memories as a little girl in my hometown of Cedar Falls, Iowa, was making a clay piece of pottery for my father—I can remember it like it was yesterday. Three things stand out in my mind: the actual creative process of making the piece, the assistance I gave to a new classmate who needed help with his work, and the excitement I felt in anticipating my presentation of my accomplishment to my father. Even now, 40 years later, these three elements still play a significant role in my life. I feel blessed that I find myself in a career that encompasses creativity, assisting others, and the ability to get excited about relationships with others.

As I reflect on my time here at Luther College, I am always reminded of the incredible people at this place. The amazing and wide range of talent of the student body, faculty and staff, the life changing “words of wisdom” that have been shared for us all to ponder and grow with, and the willingness of people to open up and share their own stories with each other. All of these experiences have added to my sense of being today—and I am grateful.

Not long ago I was again reminded of the significance of that one piece of pottery made by that little girl when she was six years old. It was during a staff workshop in which we had a local potter demonstrate the art of sculpting. As we sat on the floor surrounding her at her wheel, she instructed us each to select a piece of clay and form with our hands anything that we wanted. Oh my, the memories came rushing back! What else could I make but the piece I made so many years ago. As we each finished our object, we shared with each other what we had created and were then instructed, one by one, to place our piece on her wheel.

As we watched all of our pieces coming together to form one whole entity, the message was powerful.

We are all individuals on the incredible journey of life, traveling down many different roads, experiencing joy, wonder, sadness, laughter, dance. But where would we be if not for our lives intertwining with each other, in so many subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, ways. We could choose to simply exist on our own, but to truly live we need one another to be the people we are meant to be, and to do what we are meant to do.