Sunday, May 06, 2007

Stop and smell the flamingos

This morning, I handed in my final paper for my ethics class, thus bringing to a close my first semester at the seminary. I've been feeling a bit odd about this little milestone all week, so it was only appropriate that when I arrived on campus this morning, I saw that the grounds looked liked this:

Yes my friends, pink lawn flamingos all over the place. A strange sight on any campus, but especially odd upon the grounds of a seminary. Not sure what theological insight these birds have to offer, but I'm sure they're not hurting anything.

But like I said at the start of this post, I've been feeling a bit strange all week about the close of the semester. See, I spent a lot of years trying to figure out something that I wanted to do with myself, and then when that something made itself known to me, it was as if the whole world opened up, and the reality behind reality became visible. Everything, every moment, every action, every person became so rich with meaning, it was overwhelming sometimes. This all probably sounds quite odd, and in truth, it feels very strange to type it, but that's the best I know how to explain it.

But once the semester started, I settled into the business of being family guy/full-time working guy/part-time grad student guy, and just like anything else that you do long enough, it became part of the routine. It's not that I didn't enjoy it, because I did, but the reading, the studying, the writing, the going to class, it was all simply part of the job, and there were times when I just sort of forgot about what it was exactly that I was doing all of this for. The fact is, I'm going to be in school for a number of years to come, so on this very first step of the journey, the destination still seems very far away.

But now at the close of the semester, I can definitively state that the journey has begun, and this first leg is completed. The end is still very far away, but I'm a tiny bit closer than I was a few months ago.

In the meantime, there is the here and now and all the joys that come with it. I had brought Henry along with me to turn in my paper, and he seemed to be as fascinated by the flamingos as I was amused by them.

In the afternoon, we went down to the annual Violet Crown festival, where we ran into quite a few friends, and afterwards we joined in the celebration for our friend Tim's 30th birthday. Here's hoping it's the start of a great summer.

I call this one "Too Much Symbolism"


Whit said...

I believe that pink lawn flamingos at the begining of a journey symbolize that you've got one foot firmly planted, and while the future may involve some balancing, the pastures ahead will be the greener for it.

I think I read that somewhere, possbily in the above paragraph, but hey, it sounds good.

Jason said...

Congratulations on the first semester out of the way. I'm glad you've found out what you're supposed to do, I haven't yet. I hope you're able to see the big picture during the (years) of focusing on the day-to-day.

Beth said...

Congrats! It doesn't sound "weird" or "odd" that you're finding your way now. There's no timeline on these things. I'm 29 and ive finally found a career that bridges my love for engaging in internet technologies and my background in writing!