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November 28, 2008

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

*We ought to make the moments notes
Of happy, glad Thanksgiving;
The hours and days a silent phrase
Of music we are living.
And so the theme should swell and grow
As weeks and months pass o'er us,
And rise sublime at this good time,
A grand Thanksgiving chorus. *

*------ Thanksgiving, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox *

Yesterday the lodge was filled with family, dear friends, a long Thanksgiving buffet, and two whole tables of pies and end-of-the-meal sweets. It was a grand afternoon of sharing in the joys of what God has done, and given to us this semester. Outside, the snowflakes danced to the ground in an intricate, airy waltz It seemed like they had come to let us know that the season is changing; it's time to reflect on the blessings of the past three months; it's time to go home.

Now the snow is melting, dripping off the trees. The walk across the driveway to graduation dinner was a muddy one. Dressed in our finest attire, we sat around formal place settings and heard each other give personal highlights of the semester. One thread tied all of the speeches together - friendships. Living in a close community, they develop quickly. When internet and cell phones can't keep you from people, and you're all subject to the same Dr. Bauman scrutiny, bonds are formed. When the Summit bubble protects you from the outside world and all it's trappings, you suddenly realize what the highest things of life are: knowing and loving God, and the people around you.

White Christmas lights wrapped around large wooden beams make the lodge dining room glow softly. The candles on each table give just enough light to illuminate the faces of friends around the table. The Christmas tree, hunted down in the forest last week, glows and glitters in the corner. All the ornaments were crafted by hands that are now wringing, thinking about going home. The beauty of graduation night is also it's sorrow. The semester is over. Somehow, though, it's really just the beginning. When the candles are blown out, and we travel home tomorrow, it will be a sort of starting over.

I am not the girl that I was months ago. Dr. Bauman has taught me that "just because something is widely accepted doesn't mean it shouldn't be examined." Dr. Williams showed me the beauty of poetry, and the power of words. Dr. Moreland helped me to grasp the depth and importance of philosophy. Mr. Mandt showed me that physics can help us understand the stars, and the God who created them. More than all of those things, students and staff have helped me to learn how to love, and be loved. They have spoken truth into my life, challenged me, and enlarged my heart to see the hand of God at work in daily life. They extended the hand of friendship and I took hold - I will never be the same.

In a few hours, we will part ways. The red-eye shuttle will be leaving for the flight out of Durango, splitting up the community we've worked so hard to develop. The snow continues to melt, drip, drip, dripping off of the trees and onto the bushes below. The season is changing; it's time to take what we've learned HOME. The real world is calling, loud and clear. We have become what Dr. Williams calls, "stalwart friends of truth," and it is now our job to appear. Our task is daunting, but our God is faithful.

I, for one, am truly thankful for this time at Summit Semester. May God grant grace to all of us for this next season of life.

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