As I walk along the forested trails of Decorah’s parks, where the purple and white spring ephemerals have popped up across the understory and the large stands of maple, hickory, walnut, and oak trees have begun leafing out, the air almost buzzes with the excitement of new life and new opportunities. As I child of the springtime, I have always loved this season, with its increasingly longer, warmer, and sunnier days that hint at the summer to come.
Spring is the season of promise, of hope, of new beginnings. And with a summer full of working outside, spending time with my family, and lakeside sunsets in my oh so very near future, I definitely feel the stirrings of hope and excitement in my own heart.
Yet alongside this same season of anticipated adventures, it is also a time of finalities (and of course, final exams). As the sun sets on my last week of classes, many of my Luther College adventures are coming to a close. Last week I attended my last Student Senate meeting, yesterday I had my final shift for the Caf to Community Program, and this will be my final blog post for the 2016-2017 school year. This past year has been a year of exploration in many senses, as I have juggled a handful of extracurriculars, work study, off-campus work, and oh yeah that school thing too. I have gained much from the wonderful experiences in all of these activities, and while I still will be working at the Co-op and obviously continuting my edudcation at Luther next year, I feel confident in my decision to reduce my number of commitments and really focus on the quality of the few that remain.
And so, while it is a season of hope and promise, it is also one of saying goodbye. Goodbye not only to many activities, but also to many friends who will be graduating next week. Yet I hope that, like my goodbye to my Co-op coworkers, professors, and to Decorah itself, those goodbyes to my friends are only temporary. However, regardless of whether I end up visiting my roommate Evie in the Pacific Northwest or whether she ends visiting me in the Northeast (when I finally purchase my future farm), I am still grateful for the time we have had here together, in good ol’ Northeast Iowa.
It is amazing to think about all the remarkable people who pass in and out of your life. While it is impossible—even with Facebook and Facetime at your finger-tips—to keep all these people in your life forever, there is much beauty in recognizing how special they were to a certain part of your life journey and how lucky you both were that your paths crossed.
And so, it is a time of goodbyes and of tears shed and hugs given; but with new excitement right around the corner, it is hard to feel any deep sense of sadness, only gratitude—for the time that has passed and for those new adventures that the spring speaks of.