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Thanks for Growing with Me

 

Dear Seminarians,

Do you know the story of the Moirai?  In Greek myth, the Moirai, or the Three Fates, are the ruling goddesses of the thread of destiny.  The oldest, Clotho, spins the thread with careful hand; Lachesis, the apportioner, chooses how much thread for each life, and the youngest, Atropos, was the cutter of threads, an architect of endings, and of death.

It has never been said, though perhaps it should be, which of Sacred Three is responsible for the twisting and untwisting of threads; the unseen force which drives us together as it does apart.  My guess is Lachesis is behind all this.  Tangling up the threads of fate just because screams Middle-Child Energy™ to me, personally (I’m the oldest).  But I digress.

I bring this up, because, were she real, I’d thank her.  It has really been a lovely experience being with you all in this way.  I’m grateful to have been able to learn in company with so many minds and hearts that continue to stun me with their brilliance and openness.  The each of you brought something special to this class and to my memory.

It’s bittersweet when things come to an end, especially in times like these, but the future is dawning on each of us.  There is little time left to wait.  But before you go, if it is not too much trouble, I’d like to leave you with something of me that I treasure.

There are years that ask questions and years that answer.

This is a quote from one of my favorite books that I’ve ever read, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.  I’m not one for (relatively) contemporary literature, but this book really floored me with its beauty when I first read it ten years ago, and still does now.

This book itself is a bildungsroman of a young woman as she comes to terms with the magnitude of her own life, her capability to love as she tries to fashion a place for herself in the hearts of others, and also in her own destiny.  The book to me has a stunning quality of self-reflection to it that I can’t shake, and every year, as the hour of the New Year wanders in, I myself wonder, “Was this year an ‘asking year’ or an ‘answering year?”

2020 has me stumped on that as of yet, as you might imagine; uncertainty weighs heavy on each of us. However I find the simple act of asking what you’ve learned is often incredibly clarifying and soothing to the self.  I wrote my paper on Steve Bannon’s ‘What have I done?’ but if I’m honest, I think that abandoning the premise of judgement when asking of the soul is a much healthier alternative.

I hope when you all walk into the future as our threads uncross for what may be the final time, that each of you does so with the premise of that question in mind, What have we learned?  The train has let us off here, however, each of still has yet another train to catch.  Before you worry, the next train will still be there no matter how long it takes you to get there.

There is no hurry in the journey of the spirit.

Thank you for the days and your words and your time.  It’s been a pleasure to grow with you all.

All the Best,

Ashley

P.S. Did you know we’re famous now?

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