May always feels nostalgic to me. Perhaps it’s all the graduations, and all the memories this time of year conjures. It’s a liminal space, spring – we can sense the promise of summer, the lush green of treetops and warmer days. But for now, the leaves are nearly yellow, bright and delicate, the blossoms haven’t turned to fruit, the next stage hasn’t yet begun.
I always felt like the end of each school year had the weary sweetness of accomplishment and relief, mixed with fresh excitement about whatever came next, maybe some grief or denial about friends that were graduating or moving away.
I’m finding that I feel similarly now, as we wind towards the end of this church year and begin to imagine next year. It’s been wonderful finally seeing so many of you in person, after all that we’ve waded through these last few years. And I’m excited to start a new year together in September – hopefully we’ll be in person for the whole year, which is a novel idea after having only had six months in person with all of you before Covid hit.
This is also the end of ministerial search season, so I’m learning about all my colleagues who are retiring or moving away – there is a lot of transition happening around us. I’m curious to meet new colleagues in the fall and explore all the ways we can collaborate and foster communities of mutual flourishing.
And I’m looking forward to summer – to spending time with family, swimming, just slowing down for a while. Some six weeks later and I’m still exhausted from having had Covid, much to my bafflement. It will be good to take a break.
But I’ve also found that I don’t really like signing off from work for two months and then starting up cold in the fall. I like my work and a routine, plus working for ten months straight with no down time is not, in fact, a great strategy. My tentative plan for the summer is to alternate taking two weeks off with a week of work, so that I can keep up with pastoral care and do some of the projects I never seem to have time for during the year. It’s an experiment, but I hope it’ll be fruitful.
I hope you’re finding space in this season of change to reflect on the last year and start imagining a joyful summer.