This afternoon seemed a custom-made response. After church and Sunday brunch, I found myself heading to Jewel for some groceries with Kasey, Alethea, and Tim. Digging through a pile of flaky red onions in the back of the produce department, I looked up and saw Kasey and Tim smiling at each other over an armful of apples as they headed to their cart. A glance to the left found Alethea surrounded by the greenery of the flower department, picking up two identical African violets and looking at one then the other as if to study which had more God-given beauty than the other.
It was an excellent snapshot of my life.
These are my friends, my people, my brethren. Kasey's joy in simplicity, how well she and Tim get along, Alethea's incredible ability to find the divine spark in absolutely everything--no matter how far we move away from each other, these are the things that will never change about them, that I will always cherish, that will stay the same whether I talk to them everyday or only see each other at reunions decades down the road, sharing pictures of children and reminiscing about the time we up and drove to Wisconsin in sub-zero temperatures because we felt like it.
I'm unbelievably excited for all the graduation festivities (which will be occurring in about 110 days, but who's counting?)--baccalaureate, getting out of finals, the graduation ceremony itself--and I'm even more excited for what comes after, namely the end of my long-distance relationship. I am sad for leaving North Park, though surely not for leaving behind the Dialogue classes and GenEds and the evil Interceptor that security drives around, knocking down students like they're bowling pins. I'm sad about leaving my friends, the people who I didn't even know existed five years ago but who have become like limbs to me in the past four years.
In the end, approaching graduation really is what they all say it's like: scary and exciting and heartwrenching and thrilling all at the same time. Until then, I suppose I'll take a cue from another movie of the non-fantasy persuasion, Dead Poet's Society...I'll suck the marrow out of the rest of my collegiate experience.