Five days later and I still can’t think about Friday without emotion.
It was a long day of ceremony, starting at 8 in the morning with a whole-school awards ceremony followed by Senior Class Day, where my resolve not to cry began to unstitch the moment I heard the first notes of music in the senior slideshow that H and Reshma put together.
I’m quite sure I had tears in my eyes or on my cheeks from that moment until I sighed myself into bed that night.
Through the awards, the class will, the tributes to classmates and teachers.
Through the grey day that threatened rain in the morning but promised sun in the evening.
Through the parade of gowned students.
Through the birds flying overhead like some familiar metaphor.
Through the flower ceremony, when Reshma surprised us.
Through the special awards, when the school surprised us.
Through a perfect song.
Through the moment we had come for but still were somehow not prepared for.
Though the view of the mountains and the sun bouncing off the ragged clouds. And the people who love H there to celebrate together. And the white tent on a hill in front of the school we all called home for the last six years. And the full moon steadying itself to rise.
It was a day that “marked the edge / of one of many circles.” Circles of H’s life, looping over each other, opening out to the next. Circles of our lives, once centered together and now beginning to drift, still overlapping, but no longer entirely concentric with hers.
It was a day of crows calling out and the gentlest raindrops and the hidden movement of stars overhead. The ending of one thing and the beginning of so much more, I can hardly catch my breath.
p.s. You can see all the photos I took during class day and graduation here.