After a protracted, arduous winter in Central New York, there are glimpses of spring. The days are getting warmer now. The wonders nature has to offer abound. The daffodils and forsythia smile forth in yellow blossoms. The bright sun beckoned me outdoors for an early morning walk by the lake. Simply gazing at nature renews and refreshes me from the hustle and bustle of the week. I gazed at a coot in the lake for a few minutes, diving under water and then reappearing. A lone goose in the water honked as we approached. Others feeding on grass nearby squawked in return, paying us little heed.
Our neighborhood teems with activity. Neighbors emerge from their homes to walk the dog and visit with one another. Noisy mowers take their first run of the season. It seems that everyone comes forth on a beautiful spring Saturday to play and get gardens ready for planting. Winter’s frozen silence yields to spring’s sun and warmth.
The annual proms and balls are gearing up and limos are evident with splashes of colorful gowns and tuxedos inside. Schools and universities are preparing for final exams and graduation ceremonies. High school seniors are preparing for their annual rite of passage from high school to college and career.
This past Monday evening, I attended the annual Scholarship Evening of the German-American Society of Central New York. Everyone enjoyed a tasty German dinner, sang German songs and danced traditional German dances. Eight young seniors gave well-crafted speeches in German and in English. They have lofty aspirations as well they should. Our future leaders have been well prepared in German and will have bright futures because of that. I am reassured and trust that they will succeed in all their endeavors.
Hope is evident in nature today and apparent in our young people as well. I remain an unabashedly optimistic educator. Call me maudlin if you like, but I would not have chosen a different career path. I have brought the world to my students and their peers in Germany. Another bittersweet moment draws near as I prepare to say goodbye and wish them well on their journey. A handshake or a hug and they are off to meet the world and all it has to offer.