Friday, May 23, 2014


For the 2012 Graduates of Blue Ridge School

To commence, to start, initiate;
To gather together and begin,
So here we are together one last time
And off you go, at the outset of a journey,
Having completed the twelve year tutorial,
Embark, with guided steps.
Good luck, bon voyage, congratulations,
All are certainly in order.
You’ve earned this day,
The culmination of past days,
The first of future days.
Burst free and fly, it’s you now,
Your choices, your plans, your work,
Your future, your life,
And we who’ve played a part,
Go with you forever,
Just as you stay with us forever,
For bonds made in relationship don’t break,
Impact is reciprocal when it’s honest,
Teaching is learning when it’s true,
The intersections of life are life,
Thank you for what you brought,
And I hope you can use what I gave,
Then as your path winds on,
May the way build you as the past has done,
And know that there is only one instance of you,
One original creation,
One glorious blessed uniqueness,
That has much to offer a world in need.
Know yourself, be yourself, always,
One unified searching soul.
Encounter each challenge as it comes.
Remember that suffering strengthens,
That pain deepens your soul,
So instead of avoiding, attack.
Attack life and live.
Taste each breath you take.
Feel each tear you shed.
Treasure each time you laugh.
And love as if your life depended on it
Because it does more than you ever could know.
I can give no other advice
On this your commencement
Than to stop for only a second,
Smile, take a breath, and go. . .

                                  -Peter T. Atkinson