Late last Sunday a.m. under threatening skies with just a touch of sunlight now and then, we attended the Whitman College graduation ceremony here in Walla Walla. A beautiful small town affair - bleachers, folding chairs and blankets on the lush college lawn, stately trees overseeing us all with small children and dogs perfectly comfortable in the outdoor setting. Red fire truck with EMS at the ready, flower vendors for those last minute bouquets, and the town band playing lively getting ready music and then the procession of students, professors, past graduates and college hierarchy marched in to cheering and applause - truly a picturesque scene!
As the "friendship family" to an international student for his past four years in Walla Walla we were his representative family; his mother in Bulgaria and sister in England were unable to attend and we were it besides his many fraternity pals and fellow student admirers. We felt honored and fortunate to be representing this young man and duly proud of his college achievements.
The prior Thursday evening we entertained our friend and his friend for dinner at a lovely WW dining spot. As they arrived so handsome, so beautiful, so full of life and expectation - I commented to my spouse that I was in awe of their mere presence as young adults well educated and comfortable to enter the social sphere or whatever sphere they happen to choose or land in. We had a lovely dinner full of conversation, friendship, reflection and anticipation. Four adults sharing dinner and life - special!
Back to commencement - the diplomas were handed over, each graduate recognized and cheered by their different audience particpants and then the reverse order took over for the recessional.......the rain held off, the gowned scholars and alumnae smiling and laughing with probably some of the giddiness of college memories as well as the calling out of their names from us waving and cheering and then the seniors - the celebrities for the day - marched triumphantly out and off the scene. Brilliant students, opportunities galore - they WILL change the world, success at hand......as they recessed......for me they suddenly shed their young adulthood and became as though young children once more - perhaps even graduating from preschool or middle school - they were STARTING OVER, commenceing onto yet another unknown frontier in their lives - so prepared, yet so vulnerable.
I prayed and do pray for them all - what an amazing time in their lives - I wonder as they must - "whadda they do now?"