Here I am. In Kentucky. The place where I will begin my seminary education this fall.
Here I am. In Kentucky, the place where my father began his life, his seminary education, and his ministry many years ago, the place where my mother and father met.
I spent the morning yesterday at Lexington Theological Seminary, meeting folks, seeing the facilities, and giving my wife and I an opportunity to move along the emotional preparation path toward the every-week, Monday through Friday separation that begins in September when I begin at LTS.
As I walked the halls and the grounds of LTS, I was conscious that my father and mother had walked these halls, that this is where they met.
My Past is My Future.
We left LTS and drove to Versailles where my grandmother grew up and where she and my grandfather are buried. I have not been to Versailles in over twenty years. I was last there when we left the casket of my grandmother beside the hole dug in the ground to hold her earthly body but it is the visit we took with her in the early 80s to Versailles that is strongest in my memory. Shortly after my grandfather had died we were visiting my grandmother at her home in Ravenna and we offered to drive her to Versailles to visit his grave. In Versailles, she told us stories of growing up in this sleepy town, she treated her early-twenty-something grandson and his young wife to a snack at the old time soda fountain, and she spoke with emotion, “I don’t know if I can bear to leave him…” as we left the cemetery after visiting my grandfather’s less than year-old grave.
When we arrived in Versailles it had clearly changed in twenty-years. It felt like a suburb of Lexington as we drove into town and then I stood on the street of the downtown and it was twenty years earlier. The emotion, the tears, the love of my grandmother washed over me. I guess I hadn’t realized that Versailles, a place I have only been three times prior to yesterday, held such meaning to me. On the way to the cemetery–that I instinctively found–we ate lunch met an older couple and chatted, a couple who were Kentucky warmth and hospitality, and we stopped at the local flower shop and bought a bouquet to place on the grave of my grandparents. And I realized that I will be able to periodically visit and tend the grave of my grandparents, and great-grandparents, when I am in seminary in Lexington beginning September. I am anxious to begin that routine.
My Past is My Future and I wonder what my past holds in store for me.