Today we feature a guest blogger, parent Christina Lord. Christina has written a reflection for her daughter Caroline Lord and Caroline’s peers who will be graduating tomorrow morning, June 6th.
‘We were all to be queens
of four kingdoms on the sea:
Efigenia with Soledad,
and Lucila with Rosalie.
In the Valley of Elqui, encircled
by a hundred mountains or more
that blaze red like burnished offerings
or tributes of saffron ore,
We said it, enraptured,
and believed it perfectly,
that we would all be queens
and would one day reach the sea.
With our braids of seven-year-olds
and bright aprons of percale,
chasing flights of thrushes
among the shadows of vine and grape.
And our four kingdoms, we said,
so vast and great would be,
that as certain as the Koran
they would all reach the sea.
We would wed four husbands
at the time when we should wed,
and they would all be kings and poets
like King David of Judea.’
“We Were All To Be Queens” by Gabriela Mistral, Chile (1889-1957)
Today begins another chapter of your life. We rejoice with you as you stand at this summit looking into a new dawn, full of unseen perspectives and unchartered roads that await you. Looking back, while twelve or more years of school have gone in a blink, each day has prepared you to take the steps that lie ahead. Challenged by teachers, family and peers, you have become whole women, ready to play your part as members of this global village. From cells to equations; from Shakespeare to Middle Eastern peace efforts, Shostakovich, Balanchine and Van Gogh, from the theory of knowledge to the values of community service, Stoneleigh-Burnham empowered you to pursue excellence and to find your own voice. This home has also allowed you to experience firsthand the fellowship of girls from all around the world and, in doing so, you have expanded your horizons as ambassadors of peace.
Looking ahead, in the words of Gabriela Mistral, your kingdoms, so vast and great will be, ‘that as certain as the Koran they’ will all reach the sea. The journey you begin today will test your character, your beliefs and your self-knowledge, as you come to realize that change is the only constant and that your decisions will have ever greater consequences for yourselves and others. Embrace every moment. Trust yourselves, for you are resourceful women. Listen with your heart, not only to the voices around you, but especially to the one inside you. Respect yourselves. Recognize your limits. Mind yourselves. Through it all, remember to be grateful for your strengths, your resources and your heritage. For it is your inner strength and humility that will fuel and guide your steps in the world.
A Chinese proverb says that women hold up half of the sky. Some do so by cooking meals for their families in refugee camps while other rule nations. Wherever your roads take you, whether in joyfulness or suffering, remember that we, your parents, have your back, and that we are committed to you through the unbreakable bond of our unconditional, unwavering and everlasting love.
– Christina Lord