My kids love graduation weekend. Of course they do. It means a party crawl from one punch bowl to the next, from one roaster of cheesy potatoes to the next with a side of cupcakes and candy and accolades, baby pictures of the graduate and guest books to sign. Where I grew up there was no such thing as the graduation open house. There was just cake and dinner and then you reported to the football field with cap and gown and your 3x5 card with your name clearly printed so the administrator knew who you were amongst the hundreds of other kids. And it was either Michael W. Smith's "My Place in this World" or "Friends are Friends forever" while the seniors cried or wondered why they weren't crying during this last choir anthem of the year.
The sun went down, the pots of marigolds lined the rows of chairs, the parents and friend filled the bleachers and by the time the night sky was up the field filled with well-wishers and moms with cameras and people arm in arm smiling and crying and snapping photos. And it was good.
It was a chilly weekend this time around and I felt for the lovely girls in their thin summer dresses welcoming guests and shaking hands at the edge of their drive ways, garages, social halls and shops repeating over and again which school they were going to and what their summer plans were while the rest of us visited and shook our heads at how time flies.
Spring is finally here even if it felt more like Cambridge, England than Nebraska over the past few days. The grass is green. The trees are out, the gardens are coming back to life. I walk the grounds anxious to see the bloom of the irises but not yet. They're not here yet.
What is here? The feeling that maybe, just maybe I can pull it off. Maybe just maybe I've got what it takes to slowly inch my toes toward the scary future that part of me is tempted to escape. But no. I think I'm going to go forward and make it happen no matter what.
That's cryptic. It doesn't have to be. What I mean is that I'm going to produce a big show in Seward, NE. It means I've got to stretch myself and entertain that it's big, but not impossible and it's the thing I need to get to the next place. Standing still just isn't going to cut it.
It means that I had great conversations over the weekend with friends and mentors who offered encouragement, guidance and wisdom. In this day and age lots of people have great things to say and to offer as far as advice and insight, but also, we live in a "watch it from the car window" type of culture where we can see it, admire it, and easily not let it in. Just stay the same. However, I hear a little voice in my head whisper, "I think you should let it in. I think you should let it challenge you and change you because treading water gets you nowhere."
So there I was. Walking down the dirt road on Mother's Day by myself listening to "The Greatest Showman" soundtrack in my earbuds in my tennis shoes and clearance rack workout pants smiling at the notion of possibility. Like it's possible to make the circle bigger, to manifest inspiration first through crazy ideas, and then through the incremental execution of those ideas until one day you're where you wanted to be all along.
It feels good. Spring, graduation, possibility. It's the season of newness, of moving forward, of dreaming big. And I know that, for me, that feeling doesn't last. It gets overpowered by darker notions, but in this moment I'm not afraid of the darker notions. I know I can't get rid of them completely, but I can take hold of this lightness and inspiration and try to make it so big and undeniable that the darkness couldn't possibly destroy it once it comes around.