A few days ago, I wrote about graduations. The following day, I received a graduation announcement for a friend's daughter in the mail. The young girl looked radiant, poised upon the cusp of an exciting journey.
Graduation ceremonies are often referred to as commencement, another word for beginning. I wonder if that beautiful girl views her graduation from high school as a new beginning.
Beginnings come in all shapes and sizes. A five-year-old child starting kindergarten is beginning. An eleven-year-old entering middle school is also beginning. A new job represents a beginning. Learning a new skill set is also a beginning. And so on. Beginnings can be scary. They can cause us to doubt ourselves, our talent, our faith.
I entertain these doubts and more on a regular basis. When I start a short story or a novel, I am faced with the dreaded beginning. Where do I begin? Do I start with dialogue? With action? With a description of the scenery? Or with introspection? There is no right answer.
Despite doubts and fears, beginnings can be a good thing. They can be a chance to start over. They can represent a shedding of old habits in favor of new, more productive ones. They can open up possibilities of which we had not dreamed.
So, for today, I am grateful for beginnings.