Saturday, May 20, 2006

commencement 06

Another school year accomplished. Another class commences. Graduation was this morning, and for the first time, at least since I’ve been around, it was scheduled to be outdoors at 8:30am. Allison and I were sitting out on the deck with a fire under a crystal clear starry sky at midnight. But lo and behold, when morning comes, the clouds blow in and the storm arrives. As I drove up the road toward campus and slowed behind the graduation traffic, the rain was so hard that the wipers couldn’t clear the windshield. The bolts of lightning were simultaneous with the claps of thunder, and were continues. Bolts were staying lit for seconds rather than merely flashing. The looked like neon with a short circuit. I smiled at the irony of a first attempt squelched by weather, and then I thought about how many graduation ceremonies that I’ve attended where a few thousand people sit under ominous clouds in uncomfortable bleachers waiting for someone to decide if they will move the festivities or not. As often as not, it seems easier to stay put than to move, so the decision is made to chance it under the ominous clouds. Also as often as not, a few minutes into the festivities the clouds decide to dump their loads leave everyone regretting their decision, and soaked and scrambling.
So when the rain came this morning, everyone was saying, “I prayed for good weather, what’s this all about?” Of course, I, always the eternal optimist, realized that the prayer was answered, and that we could have all been sitting on the field wondering when the sky opened up. Instead, before there could be any debate, a decision was handed down and we all survived the commencement ceremony dry and happy.
By the time the ceremony was over, the sky was blue, the clouds had emptied and the sun shone it’s mild warmth on a crowd of smiling commencers and their families.

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