By Darnysha Nard, Staff Writer

When the flowers are blooming and all the things that were once barren are now coming to life, it is easy to succumb to the bliss. But what does it mean to grieve when the world around you is budding and blossoming?

Completing another semester of school is always something to be celebrated, but it’s also alarming. I am glad to have come so far in my education, but the question always follows: what’s next? This semester is no different. With summer just around the corner, I cannot help but to wonder what is to come in this next season of my life. I would love to say that I am one to welcome change, but I would be lying. Instead, I can willfully admit that I love control. Recently I have realized that what I love most is not always guaranteed. That’s a hard pill to swallow and I’m still digesting it.

In the past two months I have mourned several deaths. I have witnessed families lay coffins into the cold ground one day, while watching people traipse through the campus in sundresses the next. A-line skirts, polo shirts, sunglasses tightly held in their croakies, and every article of clothing a different shade of pastel. What a contrast from the families layered in black. Handkerchiefs once used to wipe sweat from one’s brow, now used to dry the tears of a solemn mother.

These moments of transition are difficult. Seasons bring with them change. Change is not always in our hands to control. What comes next? What do you say to the student who works relentlessly to make ends meet, only to fall short? What do you say to the young fellow who is without a support system? What do you say to the young woman who mourned her brother and buried her sister just a month later? What do you say when the seasons around you change, yet you are stuck in the depths of winter and despair? What comes next for you?

Acceptance. At least that’s the answer for me. I am learning to accept the bigger plan that is not clear to me now. I am learning that control is not something I can always have, and I have to be okay with that. The seasons of life may not always match those outside of my window, but they will change. In the waiting, I am growing, and through this I am placing the control, once in my possession, into the hands of God. Am I still left asking, what’s next? Yes. Through the rainy season, necessary pruning, patience and the proper amount of sunshine, a bud will appear – in due time I will know what’s next.