A Reflection on Year 3

I graduated yesterday, Friday 29th June.

The week before graduating I felt caught in a web of different emotions which all liked to visit at least once  during each day, as I walked dead straight on the same path of the last few years which yesterday came to a stop.

I don’t know that I really wanted it to  end.

In my reflection at the end of first year, I wrote about how I felt I had learned about the importance of cultivating love, and in my reflection of year 2, I wrote about learning about pursuing integrity. For a good few months now, I’ve known that what I’ve been learning about this year is gratitude.

Year 3 Life Lesson: practice gratitude

Would you know who is the greatest saint in the world? It is not he who prays most or fasts most; it is not he who gives most alms or is most eminent for temperance, chastity or justice; but it is he who is always thankful to God, who wills everything that God wills, who receives everything as an instance of God’s goodness and has a heart always ready to praise God for it.

William Law

This period of time has been one in tension – an ending has been in sight for the whole of the year and particularly this term, and a feeling of impermanence has been an uneasy constant.

The Bible tells us to ‘rejoice always’, and that is because in every moment of life there is the permanence of real hope.

This last week has been a significant one: I have turned 21, I have graduated and moved out of Cambridge, and I am currently waiting for a train to get to Spain so that I can sight-see and walk the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

Gratitude, I have learned, is the way to weather the turning and changing of the crashing waves that are different life events. It does not forfet the past, nor neglect the present, nor fear the future.

That feels like an appropriate rememberence at this ending of a chapter for a new beginning.

It is also appropriate for my current situation because I am at the information desk at St Pancras having learned my train is two hours late, is not stopping at the station I was going to get off at, that there is no train connection to Barcelona today other than the one I was planning to get, and that they can’t refund the onwards train connection because it is not a Eurostar service.



  1. Rachel,
    Congrats is in order!!!!
    I’m been on this earth a lot longer than you and can attest to the fact that change is constant and unavoidable. Your non-arriving train is so confirming of that. But, with gratitude you realize that the inconvenience instead has given you some unexpected free time which may too be a blessing if you are in a place you enjoy.
    All survive change who have gratitude toward God, as you have said. Change provides an avenue for God’s to let us know He is with us and will comfort us in our adjustments in life.
    Enjoy Spain!


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