May is the month for end of year school programs. We attend several every year to gloat with pride over the achievements of the grandkids. The programs cover a large spectrum of activities such as choir, orchestra, talent shows, recitals, awards, and graduation. Often, we have to sit on gym bleachers that kill my back and then listen to every grade level perform until the crowning moment when our grandchild is on stage or is recognized. It’s all worth it, because nothing else in the world gives us more pride and joy.
A few nights ago we heard the intermediate school orchestras perform and one of our granddaughters was given special recognition. I felt as if I had won an Academy Award. At recitals when they are on stage playing solo, I bite my nails and say a little prayer. They have never let me down with a bad performance. I have been honored with going to an All State performance and that was like winning the Nobel Prize. A very special honor is that I have been the guest speaker on several occasions for academic honors and graduation ceremonies where my grandkids were recognized.
At each of these programs I am reminded of a verse of scripture from Ecclesiastes that is used by Ernest Hemingway at the beginning of his book, “The Sun Also Rises.”
“One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh;
but the earth abideth forever.
The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down,
and hasteth to the place where he arose
All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full;
Unto the place from whence the rivers come,
thither they return again.”
My generation passes like the sun setting, but in my case the rising sun of the grandchildren is much brighter than for my time in the sky. That’s the most comforting thought I have on the porch.