All across America, students are donning caps and gowns and walking into stadiums, gymnasiums and arenas to the strains of Pomp and Circumstance.
It’s graduation season.
This past weekend, I traveled to the mainland. My niece graduated from high school. My college roommate’s son graduated from sixth grade, and my cousin’s daughter graduated from pre-K. Back on Kauai, the daughter of my husband’s co-worker, graduated from college, and Nicki, my fellow volunteer at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge watched her granddaughter walked across the stage at Kapa’a High School and accept her diploma from Kauai’s Mayor Bernard Carvalho.
Chances are you know someone somewhere who has a child who is graduating—from something. And while all these graduates share much in common—tassels, cake, parties and hopes for a better future—one thing that seems to be a truly Hawaiian tradition is the exchange of lei.
Here, bedecked in lei is Kapaa High School graduate Brianne Pignoli.
Whenever I see images like these—and, believe me, all of Brianne’s classmates looked like this—I can’t help but think how it must feel. Euphoric. Maybe it’s the aroma of that many flowers so close to your nose, but I think all those flowers envelope Hawaii’s graduates in something else—a feeling of love. Now, how cool is that?
Congratulatoins all you graduates out there. I hope you all feel loved--whether you're ringed in lei or not--and I hope you all go on to find a cure to cancer, become the next president of the United States and/or discover a renewable form of energy for the world. That or something else that satisfies your soul.