My summer internship (an amazing experience for which I will ever be grateful to Fr. Chuck Woehler and the people of St. Thomas) ended in a rush of touring small parishes in the coastal bend and then camp followed by two weeks in which I really wanted to do as little as possible but also wanted to visit with family and needed to prepare for the new – and last – school year. So, I did some resting, some visiting, some knitting, some organizing and prep for school, and some packing, and through it all felt myself settling into a funky mood that I couldn’t quite get my finger on. The previous two years I was excited and anxious about getting to school and would pack and repack and go over check lists and to-do lists that I’d already completed.
This year, I seemed to dread the preparation. And, then one morning, as I stood in my room staring at my not-yet-packed suitcase, that evasive thought that was coloring all I was avoiding doing showed its mournful face clearly … “I’m going back to school to say good-bye”. It’s my last year and everything that I do will be “for the last time” – all of the traditions (yes, we are Anglican, doing anything twice makes it a tradition) and routines and fun times that I’ve come to love doing with people who have become so very dear to me will be “for the last time”.
One of the things my summer internship did was to affirm for me that I’m doing what God and the church have called me to do. It’s important and I have every intention of finishing what I’ve started and completing my degree and (God willing and the people consenting) getting ordained into the priesthood of the Episcopal Church. The greatest compliment I’ve received was when a parishioner told me I looked “normal” assisting in the Eucharist – putting on this new vocation fits me.
The close friends I’ve made at Wycliffe will remain my dear friends for the rest of my life – the bonds we’ve formed go far beyond physical proximity. The formation that has taken place in the rhythm of Morning and Evening Prayer will forever shape who I am and who I am becoming. The classroom and papers and exams have instilled habits that will be a lifetime of continuous learning. These things I will carry with me forever because they are part of me. (Not to mention, the amount of pictures I’ve taken will keep me scrapbooking for at least a decade.)
I know it’s going to be a fast year with lots of wonderful memories just as the last two have been. I’m excited about my classes and writing my thesis and serving as Senior Sacristan. So, here I am, in what has been “my room” for the previous two school years and will be for the “last one” … orientation and the first week of classes have come and gone and I still haven’t completely shaken off the “funky mood”. It’s going to be a mixed bag, I think. I’ll keep you posted on how things go …