Up, up and away

I attended my sister’s graduation ceremony last night. It was an unexpected event. She’d mentioned it to me last week, when I thought I was busy doing something else. When I found out late yesterday that other event is actually tonight she extended the invitation again.

I was reluctant to go. I’d had that psychological bounce, and was at the bottom of it – gearing myself to go out, only to find I wasn’t after all. Then this came up. Plus it was hot out. But I went anyway.

The ceremony was at Etihad Stadium, where something like 30,000 people had crammed inside. I missed most of the speeches, but by the time I got there the thousands of graduating students, all in mortarboard and gown, were being called up to receive their degrees and diplomas.

I sat in the front row of the stand with my two nephews and niece. They were all dressed up for the occasion. All around us proud family members had their cameras out waiting for the moment when their cherished daughter or son, brother or sister, or even friend, was called up to receive the official recognition of all their hard work.

It’s not an exciting event, but it is heartwarming. You get the sense sitting there of all these lives embarking on a journey, who knows where it will end. There’s pride and satisfaction and excitement. Something blossoms as if before your eyes, and it’s inspiring in a lovely small way.

My sister graduated as a qualified and registered nurse. It’s what she always wanted to be. Unsurprisingly she took to the studies with determination, and graduated near top of her class. She’s a very focused person when she sets her mind to it, almost to a detrimental affect – other things can suffer, but it pays dividends.

At the end of it all everyone filed onto the arena for a drink and a sandwich and a high 5 with the loved one. There in the middle of Etihad stadium, where the big men fly, small dreams took flight as well.

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