A Sending for the Colby College Class of 2016

In our yard, there's a flowering crabapple tree.
like the ones on by the entrance to Dana, but bigger and pinker.
Prettier, if I do say so myself.
I mention this not to brag about my tree-growing prowess.

But because this particular tree seems to wait
until commencement weekend each year,
to burst forth into life
its impossibly large number of delicate pink flowers.
Thousands. And tens of thousands.
this morning stretching their petals to the sun and wind.

Their time - those petals -
like yours on Mayflower Hill,
is relatively short.
And positively impactful.
And nothing short of stunning.
Soon they will be carried off by wind,
and rain.
They, like you, on to the next thing.

They, like you,
bless us with their presence.
They, like you,
remind us each year,
to once-in-a-while,
sit in wonder.
To pause in awe,
and take stock.

Thank you,
for your work and your blessings here,
for the light you have shined,
in this place.

As you set your sights and open your arms to life beyond this hallowed Hill,
go too with our blessings.

If this place has been like home for you,
go forth in that embrace, grounded.

If this place has been for you full of promise,
go forth in that excitement,
to tell stories of possibility.

If mistakes made in this place have humbled you,
go forth gently with that hard-earned wisdom.

If this place has inspired you,
go forth inspired, to inspire.

You have blessed us with your presence here -
relatively short.
positively impactful.
nothing short of stunning.

Now we send you forth to be a blessing unto others.

Congratulations, graduates.

Thank you and Amen.