Monday, May 26, 2008

Going Home after 25 years

I just got back from my 25th college reunion, and I am so glad I went. The timing couldn't have been better for me. 25 years later I am in a much better position to appreciate being one of 30,000 living alumnae of the oldest women's college in the world. 25 years later I finally, surprisingly, feel like I belong.

My college friends and I have always had a complicated relationship with our alma mater, our other nourishing mother. With some life experiences behind me now, I am more understanding of the truth that complicated relationships are the only ones worth having.

So, I am very thankful to have gone home again for a day. I am thankful to have walked familiar paths and to have been in an environment so fully appreciative, and so completely supportive (if only for a day) of all her daughters. I loved seeing the single alumna from '33, and remembering how, at our graduation and their 50th reunion, so many of them gathered to wish us well. I look forward to my 50th, and sending off a new class of '33; and when I do, I will remember the laurel chain that connects us across the centuries.

I did not expect to be so moved; I did not expect to feel so welcomed. I did not expect to exhale so deeply, or to experience the relaxation and calm that only comes from being home. I did not expect to be so proud to be part of a tradition. And so, on this my 25th reunion, I am newly resolved to live expansively and mindfully, and to make my other mother proud too.


Andrea said...

GO girl! We need to think some more -and more intentionally- about women's institutions of learning. We have some experience there, and possibly something to say.

But... I was also wondering if I should go to MY college reunion this year. It's not a big reunion, but I've never been -and it's only 60 miles away!

Nina said...

I can only say that it was very good for me. I needed it in a hundred ways that I didn't know about before I got there. I was SO ready to be metaphorically embraced for being a woman of learning; for being part of something important; for being a woman and having something interesting to day.

I would encourage you to go. It's a nice way to get in touch with who you were during those years, and how that person can still guide you today.