It is May. May of 2012. I am stunned that not only is it May but it is closer to June than April. In one short week our God son, Pete and one of our employees, Jordyn will graduate from high school. Both are honor students and Pete is the class valedictorian. We have many friends that are celebrating the graduations of their offspring. For some it is their eldest child standing on the threshold of adulthood and for others it is the youngest. Some are graduating from college or middle school and at least one is celebrating the milestone of graduating from preschool and heading off to the big world of kingergarden in the fall. It is an exciting time. A mixture of anticipation, trepidation, confusion and in some cases fear. But no matter what, the diplomas they will receive are a symbol of accomplishment. There will be parties and presents, cakes and meat platters. There will be laughter, lots of laughter and a few tears. Promises to keep in touch, promises not to change, promises of being best friends forever. There will be the signing of the yearbooks and the exchanging of addresses.
We will sell books intended for them that will encourage the prospective graduates to be all that they can be, books instructing them to spread their wings, books that warn them of the "naked roommate" and books that tell them what they should or shouldn't do. They will receive dictionaries or a Rand McNally Road Atlas. Cookbooks for dorm room meals or healthy college eating and recipe books on 101 ways to prepare ramen noodles.
And most if not all will be given a copy of Dr. Seuss's "Oh the Places you will go" where the words "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose." will be burned into their brains. It is a terrific book. It fits for all ages from the preschool graduate to the medschool grad. It works for and encourages those heading off to college or technical school and works just as well for those moving into an apartment and starting a job. It tells of success and of bumps along the way. It has a great message and it is plain fun. It is fun to give and fun to receive. It wasn't published until 1990 (I graduated from high school in 1978) I left home and moved to Missoula where I attended the University of Montana as a journalism student. I had fun. I had a lot of fun. Some might say too much fun. My grades reflected the fun I was having and the studying I was not doing. I did not graduate from college. I could add chapters to the book "Been there SHOULD'VE done that" and possibly I was the naked roommate. Well I was at a minimum the roommate that encouraged late nights that often did not involve anything acedemic.
I look back at my graduation with fond memories. Remembering the emotions and the determination to do something that took me out of Augusta, Montana and into the world. I may not have graduated from college but I did spread my wings. I did meet new people and experience new things. I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams and somewhere along the way the dream changed and I am here in Dillon, Montana doing something that I love. I have a degree in life and wish the best for all the graduates of 2012 no matter where they are or where they are headed for they have "Brains in their heads and feet in their shoes and they can steer themselves in any direction they choose."
Haystack Butte - Augusta, Montana
Photo shared by Rhett Young