Celebrating Rites of Passage!

It’s a gorgeous, sunny day on the East Coast.  Rob and I are racing to catch a ferry boat from Woods Hole, Massachusetts to our home on Martha’s Vineyard after a phenomenal weekend with our extended family.

Celebrating Elle!

We’ve just come from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut where we joyously celebrated the college graduation of our beloved “spiritual daughter” Elle Celeste.

People sometimes laugh at, squirm – or even avoid — ceremonies such as graduations, baptisms or weddings.  Yet, what a pleasure it was to honor Elle and mark this important, exciting passage in her life.  It felt so great just being there for and with her.

It’s easy to overlook or underestimate the vital importance of celebrating a beginning or ending of a life event as a way to mark progress from one status to another. College student-into-working professional.  Corporate employee-into-entrepreneur.  Renter-into-homeowner. Stay-at-home Mom back-into-the work force.

This week our friend Peter Simon was finally able to throw his college graduation cap in the air, too – 40 years after completing his college classes.

Peter, an acclaimed photojournalist, author and music historian, was supposed to graduate from Boston University in 1970.  Because of widespread unrest on many campuses following the Kent State student killings in 1970, Boston University cancelled its commencement ceremonies.  It led to great sadness for many students who reportedly felt unresolved and disappointed because of the cancelled event.

This week, 40 years later, Boston University formally graduated the students in the Class of 1970, including Peter.  Another friend who was there said there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

* What rites of passage in your own life have you missed?

* How might you reclaim it?

* What would you do to celebrate it?

Your rites of passage could even include saying goodbye and having closure with a past job, or embracing your new home, or truly celebrating and welcoming into your family the birth of one of your children.  It’s not too late to do something about it!

I just realized a missed rite of passage in my own life.  I never went on a honeymoon after my second marriage several years ago.  We had elaborate plans for a trip that we never took.  Life got in the way and other obligations took priority.

The inspiration of marking Elle’s special weekend reminded me not to skip mine or other loved ones’ important passages.  Even if if it takes me a while to figure out what I missed!

I’d love to hear your thoughts about honoring your own passages – or ones you’ve missed out on but want to celebrate.

Sending you lots of love,