Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
In his homily this week Father Graham reminded us of the robin who earlier in the year had been busily flying around the garden collecting twigs, leaves and etc to make her nest in which she would lay her eggs, hatch and fledge her chicks. In due time, he reminded us, she would pass those nest making skills on to her young so that they could build their own nests next year. The birds have flown now but here in the human sphere.....
Having taken their school exams before the end of last term, these last few weeks have been an anxious time for teenagers in England and Wales. The results were due out! The question on everyone’s mind was “Will I get good enough grades to go to University or get the Apprenticeship or the job I want?” Last week the final results were issued to floods of tears, of joy or of sadness depending on whether the necessary grades had been achieved or not. Some will have had no problems. They will have attained the expected top grades to go to the University of their choice; others will get there by the skin of their teeth whilst for others still, a change of career might need to be considered or perhaps, a further year at school.
Whatever the results may have been, in the next month or so parents will be waving a tearful goodbye to their offspring, as they venture out into the wide world on their own. From now on they will have to fend for themselves; but have we prepared them properly? They can cook but can they wash their clothes and look after themselves? It is hard to watch your child fly the nest but then, mother, you always knew this time would come, even if you tried hard to forget it, it is what you raised him for. You can take comfort in the fact that he knows how much you love him, and indeed how much he loves you – even though he may be shy in telling you. That love will not diminish once he has left home, in fact it will grow as he matures into the fine young man you brought him up to be. After all, like Mother Robin you passed on your skills, but more importantly you instilled your strong faith in God in him. We pray that that he will continue to hold firm to that faith. Remember, too that God loves you both and will walk with him (and with you) in all the excitement, the trials and tribulations of this latest step on his pilgrimage. In any case, it will not be too long before he returns home, a grown man but still your loving and loved son.
Let us pray for those students starting out whether on a University course, an apprenticeship or paid employment, and for those who are re-sitting some of their exams.
Let us pray too, for their anxious parents and families.
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years