These two weeks have been hard, with the beginning of the fall semester where I teach. I am buoyed by the joy of conversations with students in classes, undeterred by the need to conduct most of them by video.
Yet I’m also feeling the heavy weight of the closing of the seminary I’ve invested myself in for a quarter century. When I show up on campus it feels like a castle whose walls have been breached and whose castle keep is in ruins. As we engage the teach-out with the students who remain, I find energy from the journey of learning together. But so many colleagues are gone, so many students have graduated or transferred, and no new faces appeared this fall. It feels like working in exile, teaching in outbuildings around what used to be a solid castle, the center of a vibrant community. We will do our best, but sadness lingers around us like the heavy summer humidity of recent days.
This morning on the back porch, Nespresso in hand, my melancholy was interrupted by several unexpected gifts. The temperature was a cool 70 degrees after the reprieve of rain last evening, too cool for the normal summer mosquitoes at dawn. And a beautiful peach-colored bloom opened wide with the rising sun on the hibiscus that my friend Daniel gave me a few months ago. Then God sent two hummingbirds to drink of its nectar, to consume its riotous vibrancy. Wings beating too fast to see, the unstoppable movement of being what they were created to be and doing what they could. And the weight lifted.
Thank you Daniel and God for the gifts of now, gifts patiently waiting to be noticed in the moment. Thank you for the reminder that “joy cometh in the morning.” Cometh every morning, if we have eyes to see.