This body will surely die.
If this life has the meaning of a dandelion:
To grow, to take winds beatings,
Fall and be stepped on,
And then frozen by a heartless cold snow,
Surely you would miss the flower’s blossom,
The breaking the surface to breathe God’s fresh air,
The tickle of the sun in the spring of May,
The bustling bees with their honey flow
The tireless ants working below,
And being blown in the wind by that child,
That child who made his dreams and became
What you are today.
I say for you the doubting Thomas,
Too fearful to act on conviction,
For the misguided, unsure, questioning,
Hoping, crying, breaking, swelling, and wanting.
For this here, this means far than a dash
between two soon to be forgotten numbers.
‘Twas a gift to be cherished,
Not meant to be taken as careless.
Life is more than just some bore
With no value that can be bought in a store.
‘Twas given through death so we might rise again.
As such, do not strive to be better than they,
Stronger than Hercules in the fray,
Faster than Bolt’s nine foot stride,
Ruthless as Armstrong’s unforgiving pride,
Smarter than that four point student,
Who forgets that after texts fade away,
What is important is not his brain but those
lives his intellect has sufficiently served.
Strive to be you, exactly as you were meant to be.
See I am not you and you not me and we come not from the same family, You might beat me at your game and gain fame to your name,
Maybe even steal my voice’s right to proclaim,
But I believe in this thing called chivalry.
Strive to be the best you can,
God’s humble servant, a man.
Weakness may encompass,
But doubt not the reach of His hand’s circumference,
His holy hands heal our hurting hearts.
He watches, guides, and whispers in that quiet place. Don’t hide your scarred face.
He sees in and breaks free the seeking, the broken. Word of his deliverance has been spoken,
For that you can stand certain,
With hope to someday feel His embrace.
Pierced, raw, and amiss memories strain,
Recalling countless pains,
That time you fell down stairs from these untied laces, Hoping to be noticed by more forgiving faces.
Those helpless eyes you lacked strength to encourage, That girl who no more returns your letters of postage. That wound in your friendship left not mended, Unrelenting, Lucifer’s course leaves you helpless.
In the fog under this street light,
With fingers frail and fear’s bite,
Step into the dark abyss.
Not seeing a path, hearing a friend,
Or feeling a guiding hand.
May seem a hopeless road untraveled,
But wait for that morning light.
Then, seeing His direction, pursue
That child’s joy that He will bring.
See still that dandelion dreams,
Waiting for you to find it.
Only one step is needed to start.
I chased the sun
And caught it in my hand
I closed my fingers around it
And tried to keep it safe
The light trickled through
The spaces in between my fingers
And shone for all to see
I clapped my other hand
Over my closed fist
To fill the gaps
But the sun found
Another way to escape
I chased the sun
And caught it in my eyes
They glistened like crystals
And shone like gold
I closed my eyes
So no one would see
But the darkness closed in
And I was forced to open
My eyes once again
I chased the sun
And caught it in my heart
Where it has stayed
~ by Ruth Will, Walla Walla University alumna (att.)
My lovely old piano teacher plays
me graceful etudes in the key of A.
Whenever I’m in town, I visit him
and ask the doctor kindly how he’s been.
We each sit on a sofa, with a sea
of books and scores of music in between.
Our rhythmic conversation often seems
a little reminiscent of a scene
from last year’s call and ones preceding that.
He’s always so professionally clad,
with loafers and the collars he requires
despite the thirty years he’s been retired.
His need to flaunt sophisticated style
suggests he feels it’s terribly worthwhile
to seem as though he has a greater task
than instructing kids of mothers who have asked
for him to teach their darlings Bach and Liszt.
Instead he sits correcting notes they’ve missed
in children’s books that just use the right hand.
Is this really what the scientist had planned?
He’ll try to play a song for me by Grieg.
His right hand shakes. His body seems fatigued.
Apologizing for all his mistakes
he’ll blame it on his hurt right hand that shakes
and claim that once the song was so precise,
but now his rough rendition must suffice.
I think he hurt his hand in some past war.
I know that he has told me once before.
It hurts to watch him struggle through a song
and play so many pitches that are wrong.
He tells me the same stories every year.
We talk about the weather—his career.
He asks about my classes and my goals.
I tell him the same stories that I’ve told.
He’ll ask, “And could you say that one more time?”
Repeating louder, trying to be kind.
I’ll tell him of the classes that I took
and of the music and the theory books
that occupy my thoughts and excess time.
He smiles and tells me, “Oh, well that is fine,”
while reaching his hurt hand up to his ear
adjusting the device that helps him hear.
Eventually the conversation dies.
I offer giving some Mompou a try.
I slowly amble to his shiny grand
and steal a quick glance at the old white man.
His lovely eyes begin to softly close.
I often wonder where the old man goes.
by Abigail Higgins
2011 mathematics graduate of Walla Walla University
When a woman died today, Samedi told me to take
her pulse. I quietly felt her right wrist and said,
“None,” but then, with the anxiety of pronouncing
death being too much for me to do alone, I asked
Samedi to take it, too — because calling death almost
feels like killing. Who will be the one to say there’s
no hope for life here, to give up, to decide it’s over?
No one signs up for that and yet when someone
dies, pretending they didn’t won’t last long. You
think that maybe you’re just not finding the right
place on her wrist where the pulse might be felt.
But no, she’s really dead. At birth we announce
it and give the welcome, and at the end, we say
goodbye and say the benediction.
~ Emily Wilkens
2010 health science graduate of Walla Walla University
Read more in Emily’s book, “African Rice Heart,” which tells in first person of her experiences serving the people of Chad. The book is available on amazon.com in both paperback and for Kindle.
This video was put together by the Associated Students of Walla Walla University (ASWWU). Whether you graduated last month or will be starting college in the fall, know that being unsure of your future is normal, and you will make it through this period of uncertainty. And seriously: don’t panic.
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
—~ Maya Angelou
Our goal at Walla Walla University is to make you feel as if walking onto our campus is like coming home. We consistently get good marks for friendliness from campus visitors, and even have a stretch of sidewalk we call “Hello Walk” in front of the administration building that reminds people to meet each other’s eyes and greet everyone they meet. Wanna check it out? Call 800-541-8900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a visit. (P.S. - We’ll even reimburse up to $250 of your travel costs!) Come see WWU for yourself.