Each year, I write the graduating seniors in SFF a little note to acknowledge and celebrate this exciting moment, this *threshold crossing* that is graduation.  

One of my greatest teachers taught me the importance of saying goodbye, and how too often we don’t pause to recognize endings.  Graduating college is a pretty big deal. Because of the finals, moving, commencement ceremonies, maybe complex family dynamics that can come with those ceremonies, new jobs, it can be easy to just move right along to the next thing. An author I love, John O’Donohue writes the following about thresholds:

“At any time you can ask yourself: At which threshold am I now standing? At this time in my life, what am I leaving? Where am I about to enter? What is preventing me from crossing my next threshold? What gift would enable me to do it? A threshold is not a simple boundary; it is a frontier that divides two different territories, rhythms and atmospheres. Indeed, it is a lovely testimony to the fullness and integrity of an experience or a stage of life that it intensifies toward the end into a real frontier that cannot be crossed without the heart being passionately engaged and woken up. 

At this threshold a great complexity of emotions comes alive: confusion, fear, excitement, sadness, hope. This is one of the reasons such vital crossing were always clothed in ritual. It is wise in your own life to be able to recognize and acknowledge the key thresholds; to take your time; to feel all the varieties of presence that accrue there; to listen inward with complete attention until you hear the inner voice calling you forward. The time has come to cross.

To acknowledge and cross a new threshold is always a challenge. It demands courage and also a sense of trust in whatever is emerging……”

Whether you are a transfer student or have been in SFF for the last 4 years, a secondary or primary major, you have completed ALL of the requirements for the Sustainable Food & Farming major….during a global pandemic!  

These last few years certainly have taught me, and dare I say all of us, how to behold complexity and grief.   While you certainly have learned a lot in the classroom and in the field, I have seen you embrace these difficult times with resilience, patience, and persistence.  We have been through a lot together these last few years. There can be a lot of pressure on college graduates to know “what’s next?!” and while each of you will be taking steps on your unique path, I do know this resilience you have been cultivating will follow you wherever you go.  May you find time, even fleeting moments, to feel what comes alive for you in this threshold crossing.   

I am excited for your next steps and hope you will stay in touch. THANK YOU for all of your hard work.  Wishing you a happy summer and happy graduation! CONGRATULATIONS!

Sarah Berquist

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