May 19, 2014


Commencement...a beginning, a start.  I think that is the right word for this week, as so many things seem be "commencing" right now!  Last week was more of a "finale" week, as my little girl finished her final semester of college, earning her degree in Human Services.  But just as all the excitement about wrapping up school wound down, she got word that a) her wedding dress had come in at the bridal shop; b) her bridesmaids' dresses also arrived; and c) she was accepted into her first choice master's program!  And after a whirlwind weekend today she is off...commencing a long anticipated adventure to Greece and England.  So before she starts work on her master's in Transnational Human Services Leadership this fall and before she walks down the aisle at her September wedding, she is off to see the world, or at least part of it.  I am sooo excited for her!  She will be visiting domestic abuse shelters,orphanages, human services agencies, educational institutions for children with special needs, and a special trip to the Smiles of a Child organization. Her motto?  "I want to change to world."  And somehow, I know she will. 

So it's time to pack up the school books, and open up the travel guides...


Find just the right clothes that will work for both hot and sunny Greece, as well as for cool and damp London...

and make sure it all weighs less than 50 pounds!!  Master packers at work!!

 And remember how easy those pre-school braids were?  I think they will work well for international travel as well!

 And maybe Winnie the Pooh isn't the right traveling companion anymore, but have backpack...will travel!

 And so, my darling girl, may your worries be few, your heart be light, and may the world treat you well. I love you and can't wait to hear all your adventures when you return!

For the Traveler
Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in.
New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.
When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home:
How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening in conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight
You could not have known
You needed
To illuminate
Your way.
When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.
A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.
May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.
May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.
~ John O’Donohue ~

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