Today I’m thinking about transitions, those in-between times that can be both unsettling and energizing.
I worked in higher education most of my life, and for many years I oversaw the annual rite of passage known as commencement. An overall celebratory event, this occasion proved bittersweet for graduates as they hugged friends goodbye before leaving, with hope and diploma in hand, for promising opportunities ahead. Commencements, like weddings and retirement parties, help us to adjust to our changing identities: student to graduate, single to married, professional to retired.
Among Covid’s many ravages have been the cancelled ceremonies that mark our social transitions. My niece Gillian graduated from college this past spring, and like so many others she was denied a traditional commencement experience. I’m glad that I had been making a quilt for her to mark her accomplishment.
In honor of our shared Irish heritage, I designed an Irish chain pattern with a star motif in light blues and whites. I envisioned keeping it light and dreamy, almost cloudlike. I had it quilted in an overall design of sweeping curls and loops. At a family gathering in late July, I presented it to her.
Gillian heads to New York this August to work in the media industry. A rising star in her field, she will continue to shine.
(All photos in this post are mine. Please do not use them without my permission.)