I received a message by Facebook (yes, this is their preferred mode of communication and so we have to adapt!) from a niece that her younger sister is about to go for a retreat. This will be her last retreat in high school. She will be graduating next Spring.
We had gone through College tours with her earlier this year. She wanted to see what the opportunities are for her in the United States. And so, my hubby and I obliged and we went on the Campus Tours again last April.
It has been a few months since your uncle and I have seen you. We enjoyed your company when we toured around all the universities you wanted to see. Remember Carnegie Deli and the humongous sandwiches? And your colossal hamburger steak and beefy fries? You barely dented that monster! And the milk shake too!
We want to tell you that you are in such a great point in your life. Your future is right before you, ready for the taking. In a few months, depending on where you decide to go for College, your world will go beyond the confines of the school you have known for more than a decade or the back and forth to and from home nearby. Whichever path you choose, we’re confident, you will make your mark.
We have enjoyed your sister, Rica’s company recently, albeit briefly. We can only wish her well on her journey to making her own mark in the world. We have such high hopes for her too. One day, she will make a difference in the life of many people.
And so, on the eve of your retreat, what can we say to you that would provide you with enough substance to ponder on? Not much really. Your parents have taken care to instill in you all the values they hold dear, coupled with all the greatest dreams they have that you might become a happy accomplished and independent individual one day.
I’d like to leave with you a beautiful poem written by a dearly departed friend of mine. My friend, Vanna (may she rest in peace) wrote this in 1974, when we were still such naive high school girls, not much different from your age. Now, almost 40 years later, I hope it can still resonate:
by Vanna Virata, 1974
Let love carry you through thought,
time and eternity.
Let it stream through your dreams at night
and in the half-light where danger lurks,
let love carry you through the terror of oblivion.
May love shine during your dullest hours
and cover you with effulgent beams.
May it stay luscious and never sour,
And may the sound of its dulcet symphony
weave a mist around your ears.
May its last note stay and gleam
and leave you breathless in remembering.
May your love be blest with God’s own nectar,
May you never lack for cream.
May the spices needed to flavour love
give no excess
or yet be tasteless as promises given in haste
that burst with each delicate bubble
and leave no trace —
save that of love forsaken.
May your love bring joy
though not much
to make you crapulous
forgetting love’s subtle suaveness;
May it bring you peace—
that kind which you abuse not
but keep within for refuge in distress.
And may Love bring you
dawnings of a million suns—
that cast no shadows on your bright face
Plus sunsets of a million rays
that scatter crystal hues and kisses
and bring that laughing colour
to gladden your days.
Whatever it is you have shared with your friends, your teachers, your team mates, you will always take with you wherever you go. They will fill the shelves and corners of your memory, lovely little nooks and crannies to remember and relive as you navigate through what’s ahead.
We want to tell you that we believe in you and your capabilities. We trust you will always steer towards what is good and fair. We aspire to live vicariously through your stories, if you care to share them with us. Above all, we want you to know you are loved here just about as much as you are loved at home in Corinthian.
The Art of The Open Letter (dailypost.wordpress.com)