Thursday, May 29, 2014

Bright & Sharp, Blue & Vast

On Memorial Day, when I was hiking the trails in Jay Cooke State Park, I happened to glimpse a tiny shard of bright blue eggshell in a ditch alongside the path. I moved a couple wet leaves out of the way and found the rest of the shell. 

As I took a few shots, like the one below, I started thinking that this image--of the broken shell lying in the ditch--was a perfect metaphor for the end of the school year, for the end of the seniors' time at Marshall. You're leaving the nest, and learning to fly, and all that…*
Empty Robin's egg, Jay Cooke State Park, taken May 26, 2014
As you fly on to newer, bigger, and brighter places, what you're leaving behind may seem old and decayed, small and worn-out. But it's the contrast between the dull reddish-brown of the decaying leaves and the bright, greenish-blue of the empty shell, the contrast between your old realities and your new possibilities, that makes the image so eye-catching. 

Wherever you go, you leave parts of yourself behind, and let's hope that your legacy is as eye-catching and memorable as the bright blue eggshell against the wet, decaying leaves… 

Maybe your legacy has a few sharp edges, too, just like the eggshell--sharp edges that mark your struggle to break free of your past or your limitations, sharp edges that reveal how you yourself were bruised a bit by your time here… 

That's okay. The brightness and the sharpness are all part of the experience, all part of the journey of growing up and moving on from one small world to a larger new one. 
Empty robin's-egg blue chairs

I'm writing this post in my empty classroom during period 4A--all my students are off doing their Senior Projects--so it's peaceful and quiet. As I sit here, thinking about empty nests and new adventures, it strikes me that the empty bright blue chairs in my room are similar in color to the empty eggshell, so I thought I'd snap a photo. 

The two photos demonstrate the same idea, really: the exchange of one small bright blue world for another unknown world, so much more vast. I hope you will find it to be so, and I wish you well on your journey.

*Graduation season makes me sentimental; please forgive the cheesy clichés. But if I still have your attention, please also remember that "cliché" is a noun, NOT an adjective. "Clichéd" is the adjective form, if you must use it...


  1. Forgive me for commenting this with Chinese... “岁月长,衣衫薄,来日方长。--高晓松” It means that "There's still a long future, my cloth is still thin, there's always a meeting time in the far future. --By Xiaosong Gao" Thank you Dr. Nygaard, and wish you have a nice summer!

    1. Thanks, Gamp! I hope your summer is lots of fun!

  2. Remarkably, you stayed on this side of cliché throughout this entire blog. Thank you for a lovely reflection.