I have now officially walked in Lenoir-Rhyne’s Asheville campus commencement for my Master of Arts in Writing degree at the Thomas Wolfe Center for Narrative (what a mouthful!), but I’m not quite a graduate.
Not yet. I have an asterisk next to my name, meaning I lack six hours before I officially complete my degree on December 16. This summer I’ll take an elective and in the fall, my capstone portfolio. I identify with Barry Bonds as far as the asterisk goes.
Our ceremony fit Asheville perfectly –quintessentially quirky. All the graduates rode a purple comedy bus (called La Zoom) to a monument in the center of downtown, then we took part in a colorful bagpipe-led procession through the city to the ceremony in the iconic Orange Peel Social Aid & Pleasure Club. Afterwards, we all feasted on Carolina BBQ as a blue grass band played.
I’m thrilled I got to walk while I’m still in my fifties, squeaking by at 59-1/2! My fifties have been my decade for writing. I wrote and published a book and I went to graduate school.
As I look back on my life, each decade has had a different theme. For me, the 1980s were about being on staff with Cru, all over the U.S. The 1990s were my Eastern European adventure. And then the 2000s were a time of massive change. I left Eastern Europe, got married, changed careers, and entered the real world.
The one consistent part of my life is the Author. God has been present with me, writing the script and orchestrating all the parts, since the beginning. And I know he’ll be with me till the time he ushers me home. For that, I am grateful.