“Into the vast, bright days I go,” Henry Beston
I hadn’t really forgotten about this image, it has lived at the side of my mind over the past few years. Then, last night when I started reading The Outermost House, and saw the quote, this photo immediately sprang to mind. My daughters have been stepping out into the vast, bright days since they were born, each milestone coming and passing as they move to the next. Now they are both approaching the step from high school to whatever the post high school years will hold. They are tentatively excited as they watch from the safety of home the approaching change. Their concept of time has shifted into the protective mode of thinking there is more time between then and now than there actually is. I remember the mix of excitement and uncertainty this time brings, and yet can’t help but feel both exasperated at their resistance to reality of getting things done and relieved as they cast aside things that only serve to distract them from being true to themselves. Life is uncertain enough without adding to it by not being comfortable with who you are. Not interested in becoming an engineer in spite of peer and school pressure? Then don’t become an engineer. Ditto for law, medicine, teaching, art. If something speaks to you, incorporate into your life regardless of what your day job is. They have heard this year after year; that doing something that impresses others, but kills the soul is a sure fail. Now they are at the point where they need a jumping off point into the rest of their lives, many things are in flux as they grow into these new people while trying to remain in the safety of the nest for just a little longer. Maybe they realize that once they fly the nest will not feel quite the same ever again.