Twenty years ago I left this place and headed off to 'start my life'. I was a fresh-faced young thing heading to the altar and then off to a new teaching job. I remember the drive home - my car loaded down with posters, sweatshirts, a big stuffed dog, a typewriter and 4 years worth of memories. My parents followed me in their mini van carrying all the rest of my stuff. We weren't even on the turnpike and my mind was already thinking about the future.
Fast forward twenty years plus a couple of months and I walked back onto campus just amazed. I'm amazed at the changes that twenty years has brought. Changes not just on campus but in myself. Those 4 years were some of the best years....I made life long friends, I worked through fears, I discovered who I really was (and who I wasn't), I took stands, I ventured outside of my comfort zone, I didn't back down, I learned to like coffee, I laughed until I cried and I moved on to the next season of my life a whole lot better for having been there.
This time back on campus, I had a daughter who was taking it all in with eyes that wondered if she'd be sitting at those same cafeteria tables, walking those same walks, sitting in those classrooms learning and soaking and growing. I watched her wondering the very same things. I tear up when I realize how close she is to being off on her own and learning those lessons that seem like they happened to me just only yesterday. I'm thankful to know that the same God who walked me through all my lessons will continue to walk my daughter (and all my children) through hers as well.
It was a wonderful weekend reconnecting with friends. We met for our twentieth reunion. The weather was gorgeous, the food was better than I remembered and more memories were added to the trunk of my car. I realized that you really can go back....although nothing is ever quite the same. but that's o.k.