By Timothy Nixon
Spring is often described as a period of beautiful transformation. Trees wake from their wintery nap and don their new green foliage. Flowers poke their stems through the ground and open their petals for the travelling bees. Sweet sneeze-inducing fragrance abounds as pollen billows through the air, coating everything in its path.
The way our school schedule is set up, spring is also a time of individual transition and transformation for many people. Students graduate from schools. Families plan for the summer months. Graduates plan for college, technical school, jobs, and careers. Tax returns are due April 18.
So I am not surprised to once again be in the throes of planning for transition. Yet even as the transition is familiar, so too is the unsetting chill in my spline that comes from being pulled in two directions. The pull of sufficiently planning for a year of graduate school on the one hand – classes, housing, finances. The pull of Grace-on-the-Hill on the other – community, church, work, friends.
I liken the process to attempting to move from one canoe to another. It takes plenty of planning and coordination to bring the two canoes side by side. I find myself scheduling meetings, conversations, and planning-visits around my GotH commitments. Then for a short time, you straddle both canoes. Your feet are in the second canoe while your bottom is still planted in the first canoe. This is where I find myself now. As I straddle both the present and the future, I need to balance between thinking through decisions for next year and grounding myself in the here and now of Grace-on-the-Hill. It is important to plan ahead and be prepared. It is also important to be present for the joys and challenges of the present moment. Finally comes that frightful moment when you move. For a moment you hang unsupported in the air between the canoes. Then you land, hopefully firmly, in the second canoe and have a chance to settle yourself once more. Soon I will come to this time of saying goodbye to Grace-on-the-Hill and St. Andrews. I will pack my things and move them and myself to the next part of my life…
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves! I still have a few more months to live into Grace-on-the-Hill and relish the present time. Goodbyes will come whether I dwell on them or not.