Saturday, 9 June 2007
The Beginning by Jim Rees
The seats are full, the crowd is hushed.
We shuffle nervously in our seats,
Shifting our feet, waiting anxiously
For our names to be called
The spotlight gleams on us and we bask in it as if it’s the morning sun,
For this is truly a new morning.
This is our moment.
As we wait, our lives flash before our eyes,
as if it would before death,
but today, it’s before birth.
Every sense in our memory suddenly hightens to new degrees.
We remember the tinny ring of the bell, on the first day of kindergarten
We remember the strange, acrid smell of the finger paint
We remember the feel of the coarse, sandy gravel between our fingers after we narrowly avoid being tagged.
We then flash back to five years ago when we did this before.
The same nervousness, the same insecurity of the next step.
Then we remember the first day of Grade 8.
The ponderously long halls, the intimidating new faces,
Which we know are just as panicked as we are.
Then, we felt the feeling that washes over all of us
(and for each of us at a different time):
“It’s all gonna be OK”.
Now the rest of these five short years flow into our subconscious,
Like water filling a basin:
The late night studying with our friends where we did everything but.
Flying out of our houses at breakneck pace,
once we realised we set the alarm clock an hour late.
Our glorious triumphs, our soul crushing defeats,
And our sudden, swelling feeling of redemption,
Once we realise we can recover from the blows we just faced.
But most of all, our thoughts turn to those who were there for us the most.
Our comrades who fought along side us in the most intimidating battlefield we have known.
The laughter we’ve shared, the shoulders we’ve cried on.
The people who’ve taught us, and who we’ve taught
That family goes far beyond blood.
The people who are no longer our friends-
They are now our brothers, and our sisters
And they share a bond with us whose flame will never flicker out.
It will continue to burn as long we live.
We cannot see what lies before us, as the path is still foggy
And our torches can only show us so much.
Fear swells within us when we think of travelling this road blindly.
Then we think of all we’ve been taught, all we’ve prepared for.
And that same feeling from grade 8 washes over us all over again:
“It’s all gonna be OK.”
For we are now inches away from that door at the end of the tunnel
We’ve been striving twelve years to reach.
And above it reads two words:
Our daydream is over.
We rise to go to hold what we’ve been craving for so long.
Our ticket to a new world where anything is possible.
Our eyes sweep over the crowd:
We find our siblings with a look of wondering how it all went so fast,
our mothers blubbering into a handkerchief, “that’s my baby!”,
and our fathers with a look of unmistakable pride in their eyes.
We’ve made it.
And now, we are ready for our lives to begin.