Touchstone or Benchmark: a point of reference from which measurements may be made.
One of the most important things that my first spiritual director suggested to me was to “stop and embrace” the touchstone moments of my journey. He was suggesting that these benchmarks are often times of grace unfolding before our eyes.
This past weekend, our youngest son boarded a plane with his mother to San Diego to begin the next chapter of his life as a college student. Each step along the way, I received virtual updates — and it was clear that new life was emerging right before my very eyes.
I, too, boarded a plane; but my destination was the town where I grew up. The occasion was a first-ever all class reunion and one we thought the Prior boys (my brothers and I) should not miss. Amidst the endless laughter and relentless teasing, I was acutely aware of my deep connection to these people — both connections by blood, and connections by history.
Landing ten minutes apart at MSP, my beloved and I connected and immediately began swapping stories from our separate travels. Listening and laughing, it was clear to us both that are travels had been transformative.
Moments later, we walked into our house and it immediately felt as if we were crossing a threshold as we did on our wedding night. The only thing being carried this time, however, was our luggage!
Yet, like that moment 26 years ago, we knew that we were entering a whole new chapter. We paused, embraced, and experienced the mix of emotions — sadness that our children have left the nest, excitement for what lies ahead for all of us. It was a benchmark moment, a touchstone moment; a moment of grace.
As we enter autumn, school starts, and a new program year begins: I hope for all of you a moment of grace in whatever touchstone moments the season brings.