The last time I had walked down that hill was with tear-stained face in 2002. My two years at Pearson College had come to an inevitable and dreaded end. This might be the last time I’d see some of my friends for a very long time.
A year before, I had said goodbye to the students who were completing their two year cycle. One of them had made it a point to come to my room every night and say goodnight: Buenas noches Sikhucita; que sueños con los angelitos – he’d say. (Ps: this tradition developed because he sometimes didn’t find my gorgeous roommate home ;). )
As I walked down that hill to the parking lot my second year, the tears were for the uncertainty that lay ahead. Two years at a United World College changes you and I wasn’t sure how the changed me would fit into the real world. The tears were joyful for the good times we’d had on that beautiful campus…the pranks played…the prayers uttered…the decisions made…the songs sung…the lessons learned. And there were tears, of course, for friends we’d miss!
Goodbyes have never made my favorites list so I always get around them by planning the next encounter – then it’s not really goodbye, just see you later (you know; ne dis jamais adieu, toujours à bientôt). With most of my fellow years that was easy enough because we were mostly going to college on the East Coast and made plans to see each other in the fall. But one goodbye seemed painfully final.
We used to have breakfast together every morning before class and we’d spend most afternoons talking philosophy while sitting on blankets under the loft of my bed. Our backgrounds were so different, and we didn’t always agree, yet that, in light of the mutual respect we had for each other, only made for more interesting conversation. Some friendships you never want to lose, you know. But walking down that hill, I think we both knew…we both wept…
We had heard of alumni returning for their reunion ten years after graduating. Ten years seemed like a lifetime away! Ten years happened last August, 2012! But I didn’t make it to reunion 🙁 However, after GYC in Seattle, my Canadian parents (I’ll explain in another blog post) came to pick me up and I got to see my alma mater again.
Walking down that hill to the parking lot as we were about to leave was surreal. I am ten years older than when I last set foot on Pearson’s campus. I am not where I thought I’d be in life. I am not doing what I thought I would be doing. I am not who I thought I’d be. The questions is, do I have any regrets?
Well, I’ve made loads of mistakes! I’ve done things I’m not proud of. But do I regret who I’ve become? No. No regrets there!
It was an awesome feeling, I’ll tell you. And everything I found to rejoice over as I walked down that hill back to Daddy Peter’s car was all thanks to what God has done in my life. All the things I regret are connected to the times I stepped out of His will <sigh>.
The 20yr reunion seems like a lifetime away! But walking down that hill this time around I had no more tears of anxiety for the future because I’ve seen how God takes care of His children in how He’s taken care of me over the past decade. I am now resigned to the way time and circumstance alters relationships – Heaven will be the only remedy for that. And all I can imagine is that, ten years from now, I will be rejoicing at how God has led in my life. Hallelujah!