Wednesday, April 30, 2008

beginnings and endings

Anyone who has been reading here recently will know that dreams have been very present in my mind these last several days. Dreams to me represent a kind of beginning. A change of the wind. A longing of the heart. And so it seems a bit ironic to me that in this time of new beginnings and wondering what comes next, I have found myself in the midst of endings. As I ponder more, however, I realize it is not so ironic after all, because in order for something new to begin something else may need to end.

I have spent the last two weeks ending with students who I have watched transform over the past eight months. They came in as caterpillars, wrapped themselves tightly into cocoons and now I have the honor and joy of watching them spread their wings and fly away. It has been harder for me this year than last, because I now know from experience that many of them I may never see again. And so even with the best intentions of “I’ll see you around” or “We’ll get together for coffee,” I know that we are ending.

So, how do I sit with that? Knowing we have done good work together and we cannot help but be changed because of our time together AND we may never find ourselves face to face ever again. Longing. Sadness. Congratulations. Well-done & wanting more. Can it be enough?

In addition to students, there were also good-byes with colleagues who I have come to love deeply. The beautiful part is that we marked these endings with remembering, laughter, tears and holy communion. This feels so different from other relationships that have simply drifted away.

And so I sit this morning filled with possibility for future dreams as the season changes AND also a longing for the things and relationships that have come to an end. Dreams. Beginnings. Good-byes. Endings. Will I dream well today? Will I allow space for longing? Will you? What do you think of beginnings and endings? I invite you to come keep me company today, I have a feeling I may need a little help letting go ☺ .

lucy's photos from puerta vallarta

7 comments:

SUNRISE SISTER said...

I am going to ponder your words for the day before responding. But wanted to note right away - often in your photos you find resemblances to close family or friends. I'm wondering why you didn't note my resemblance to the beautiful sculpture - oh, you ask? - well, I think it's the necklace:)

xoxoxoxoxo

Barbara said...

As someone who is in the midst of a transition, saying good-bye to students I have learned to love over the years and colleagues as well and wondering if I will ever see them again, I am touched by your post today. Since I have been practicing these good-byes with every graduating class, I can tell you that the link is forever there and bodily presence is less significant than heart presence. It will always surprise you who remembers you best and for what reason -- it is often the one in the back of the room who just barely passed. Heart ties are much stronger and they never are severed.

lucy said...

SS--think i'll ponder your comment a bit before i respond :-) xoxoxo

barbara--thank you for sharing your valuable insight. i, too, am a believer in those "heart ties". my student work is on a small group and one-on-one level and i am always surprised how it is the one's who i have pushed the hardest who realize they will miss me the most. yesterday it was the one who tried to be "in the back of the room". he was so grateful that i had not allowed him to stay there even though he was quite angry at times for my insistence that he come out & share his voice.

happy birthday to you!

Tess said...

I've had this experience from both sides of the teaching table with my Enneagram work. The depth of sharing while learning together and, as you say, shedding our cocoons can be really intense, in many ways as much or more so than with friends and family.
And it's that depth of experience that keeps you together as a community for as long as it lasts, which is why attempts to "meet up" in the normal world and those best intentions sometimes come to nothing.
But that doesn't negate the experience. It happened, it was real, it was beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lucy, I loved the post. I must say that I have gotten to a place where I don't think of beginnings and endings but more transitions into. This really has applied to relationships, jobs, experiences, dreams, thoughts etc. I know that what I am experiencing now is based on what came before and what is now is preparing me for what comes next. Especially with relationships how that never really ends but gets carried forward in my heart. It's all so much transition, flowing forward, not permanent, always changing even how I judge things now how later I see bad becomes good and so on. The alpha and omega....on and on. Thanks for the post. Love, Pamela

maureen said...

lucy i'll keep company with you...

SUNRISE SISTER said...

I had similar strong feelings as you've related here in your post in leaving my business relationship of 25 years. Missing people even as I said goodbye to them but realizing that life was too rapid for them to continue correspondence with me and too changing for me to relate to their hectic business, room for little else worlds. Neither my leaving, nor their staying is something we would have all wished differently - we just are continuing or searching for new paths to follow. I feel so many new things opening for me and having time for development of deeper friendship relations, along with family ties is a true blessing at this point in my life.

xoxoxox