They walk away.
They came to us, district school still written all over them, with their short-term wants and needs still being the order of the day, not quite realising they had embarked on the voyage of life.
And now they walk away.
Being with us was their first distinction. They developed further. Intellectually, wading through text books and being geared towards independence. Emotionally, at a time in their lives when the book of adulthood is thrown at them, when they need all the guidance and support and are expected to function throughout, nevertheless.
They walk away and it is a new beginning.
We nurtured them, we trained them, corrected them, admonished them, and felt like parents to them for a short while.
Saying goodbye is dying a little.
As they succeed, the pain we endure is a glowing one, one filled with pride and expectation on their behalf, hoping we gave them the edge to live a good life.
It has been a privilege to serve them, and we do not just see them off sailing into the sunset.
It is very much a sunrise.
Thank you, dear graduates, we do not forget you.