For the past 12 years, it has been one of the comforting speeches I have ever heard, “And so tonight, we honor the past, we acknowledge the present, and we salute the future…Saluatations.” For those of you who are not familiar with what I am referring to, Salutations is a breath/movement piece that the students of the Springer Theater Academy do at the end of every day. It is done to Pachelbel Canon in D. There is really nothing like it and it is hard to describe if you have never seen it. And sometimes, even seeing it really doesn’t do it justice. It is something that must be done and felt.
Tonight was no different as I heard Mr. Ron say “We have one more thing…” and we all stood up together and filed onto the stage. As Canon in D began to swell and resonate throughout Emily Woodruff Hall and we began to fill the space with sound of our collective breathing, in and out, arms extending and retracting, it was nice to feel like some things never change.
And yet, I know that is not really true. Even Salutations has changed over the years. Not the movements, or the music, or the feeling of joy when you realize that you are a part of something bigger, but the personal meaning does change. At 10, yes, I was filled with joy and yes, I realized that I was a part of something bigger than myself, but soul searching hadn’t occurred yet. It was much different at 18 as I walked onto the stage for the last time as a student and went through the motions with tears in my eyes and confusion in my heart, completely unprepared for the path that lay ahead. And tonight, at 22, still processing the last 4-almost 5-years, it was still with joy that I threw my hands to the sky and thanked the space and the souls that went before me, but it was with a greater sense of wonder, appreciation, and peace that I drew my arms back into myself.
I still don’t have all the answers-and I pray I never will. I still don’t understand why my path has been so curvy. And I still have no idea what I am going to do with the rest of my life, but I am going forward honoring and respecting the past, acknowledging my present, and saluting the future. And I do all of that with great peace.