Rites of Spring

It happens every year. I am able to look out my window to beautiful Souby lawn, and watch the white chairs being unfolded and carefully placed in anticipation of the end-of-year events. I see the well-traveled sidewalk that stretches from the senior house to the Wallace Wing. Glancing in the other direction, I see the most sought after real estate on campus, the senior house and patio. The freedom that comes with 70 degrees and sunshine and youth is palpable.

That patio is where I witness the kind of laughter that causes girls to throw back their heads with mouths wide open. I see two seniors, who would never have found common ground in their freshman year, having a meaningful conversation over a piece of day-old birthday cake. I see a teacher stop to visit with a group of students after retrieving his morning coffee. Classmates’ bonds are strengthened, and the teacher-student relationship is infused with a new admiration and respect. Warm memories are in the works and will be savored in the near future by the seniors. In studying the view more closely, the seniors’ faces reflect a deep nostalgia mixed with excitement, sprinkled with a handful of cautious optimism about their next chapters.

The inevitable is here, and with it comes a glimpse at a larger picture. Some of us are still hard at work, studying for our World Cultures exam or our Precal exam or working toward a state championship. There is much work left to do in this last week, but some of us are slowing down. We are no longer in the details of a vocabulary quiz; we are savoring a moment or two from last week. It might be a memory of the seniors swaying and leading us in the alma mater on the library steps last Friday. We are somewhat tired, and ready for summer, and yet our hearts are lifted by something else.

It is a memory of when all of our students, all 685 students, stood in anticipation of and in respect for the announcement of the Lady of the Hall. They stood, little girls and big girls, before the name was even announced. They stood because they knew it was something bigger than an individual. They were part of something meaningful.

Mentem Spiritumque Tollamus

rites of spring (2)

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