The Start of Something New (it feels just right…?)

On Thursday, I graduated from high school.

I left the world of high school, supposedly governed by grades and papers galore. I left the world of high school, supposedly governed by late nights and stress. And to a degree, that was true for me. In high school, I developed 24/7 migraines, as a result of stress; I stayed up many a night completing papers; and I did battle the vicious rule of numbers in a gradebook.

Primarily though, I was fortunate enough, blessed enough, to have a high school experience that was good, and good in the deepest way that I can mean it. Good because it grew me.

I went to a school populated by teachers who cared about me; they wanted to see me thrive and they tried to diminish the power of grades, as much was in their power.

I went to a school full of people who love one another and strive to encourage love as much as humanly possible.

I was surrounded by a group of friends who taught me a new way of moving in the world, a new way of walking through the garden that is my life. I was surrounded by hard-working, honest, determined, dedicated, and intelligent people.

That said, my overwhelming feeling is sadness. I am sad to be leaving high school. I am sad. I don’t know how to make this a less cliché or less vulnerable of a statement, but I am leaving this place a changed person.

As I move on to the next stage of my life, a new year and a new culture and a new continent, I hope you can join me. I hope you can join, because God only knows how much guidance and love I will need from every corner of this globe.

Welcome to this journey. In the words of the Shrunken Head on the most humble of vehicles, the Knight Bus, “It’s gonna be a bumpy ride!”

-reid

PS: If you don’t know what the Knight Bus is, please find out before you join the joureny. 😉

Sunday Morning

Our neighbors want to go to church with us, so on Sunday morning we meet them in the parking lot: a man, his daughter and son. We climb in the car; the small girl with a dark bob and wide eyes sits beside my mom. The boy, older than his sister, long and lean, rests against the window, his hands clasped in his lap.

The father is a kind Indian man with manicured hands and a soft, confident voice. He tells of the bus accident that “killed terty people” and of conflict in his homeland, Kashmir; his native tongue and his kids’ school; his Kenyan home and his wife’s parents. He laughs often: a loud, matter-of-fact sound, as if there is nothing to do but laugh.

My mom asks the children questions and they answer quietly. My brother and I sit in the back, eyes out the windows. He pokes fun at my poetry and I do not explain to him that I am trying to remember that every moment is miraculous.

We pull into the church yard. The chilly morning is new in the tea fields far from home. We climb out of the car – worship already at our fingertips.