CCMS Graduation Send Off

11:43 PM

Written April 28, 2015

Yesterday I stood on the stage in front of church with Ryan, Jonah, Rachel, and Garrett. Before us, in the shadows cast by the lights shining down, sat a multitude. Our families and friends, and others who we have never met. They were invisible to me, though. I thought only of the boys and girl by my side, of the four girls missing. I remembered the girls and boys were not so very long ago, and I remembered five years ago watching another group of seniors stand before us, thinking that they were wise and knew what they were doing. I have since learned that we never reach a point of wisdom or become “grown up,” but I do not mind it as much as I once would have.

We have before us, a future filled only with bright hopes. There is much scope for the imagination, and we have dreamed for ourselves a path clean and wide and bordered by flowers on every side. It won’t be. We have more than dreams, though. We have a firm and unbounded faith in our Father which will see us through every tempest and fork in the road. There will be times of plenty, when our feet will dance down avenues and there will be times of trial, when the path will be a great deal darker. And of course, there will be all the roads in-between. These are the roads that will sustain us, carry us home.

I spent one of the happiest years of my life with these folks. A time that could have been fraught with insecurities, while not its own storms, was a year of bounty and great, great joy. After that year, we moved away from each other, and have not kept up the deep-rooted camaraderie that some classes have had. But we all love each other, and hope the best for one another, rejoicing in each other’s triumphs and mourning in our sorrows. Next year will find us once again making new friends and planting new roots, from the Southern California beaches to the hills of Georgia to the banks of the Willamette River to the Idaho plains to the shores of our beloved Puget Sound.

Growing up is in some ways not as glorious as I once believed it to be, but it is in many ways, far better. Last night as we watched the slideshow of the last ten years of CCMS, we laughed at seeing ourselves as chubby, shapeless middle schoolers. It has only been five years, though—and if so much has changed in such a short time, what is to come in the next five?

Last night, I stood in front of a body of loving souls, and when it was my turn, took the microphone. “Hello, my name is Marina, and I’ll be going to Boise State University to study nursing.” Mrs. Loudon, our beloved teacher and friend, prayed over us and gave to us all a copy of the poem If by Rudyard Kipling to keep and remind us to hold on when there is nothing in us except the will to say, “hold on.” In August, when I move into a red-bricked building under the late-summer sun, I will hang it on the wall above my bed, not just to remind me to keep my head, but also to remind me of those I love.

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