Markers are a way of measuring progress. In my 20s when I would drive to and from Toronto regularly, I would feel a sense of urgency and accomplishment when I turned from one highway to the next and passed certain landmarks like the Brockville city marker on the side of a hill, the city of Kingston, the Big Apple restaurant, the change from two to four lanes of highway near Oshawa, the chevrons, etc… Back then, most of what I did was about the destination.

Today is the last day of school. This day, like many other annual events, is a marker on the highway of life. Our daughters will go to school with some form of junk food and celebrate the end of another year of school — ┬áits social and academic ups and downs. They’ll buzz with each other about the possibilities the summer offers and which teachers they may have next year. Like the first day of school, many parents will reflect on the little child who once needed to be walked to and from school each day, and needed a big hug at drop off for the reassurance they are loved.

The wisdom of adulthood has conditioned me to appreciate the journey. Rather than lining the road with landmarks which let me know I’m nearing a goal, markers provide assurance I’m on a journey.

Congratulations to all the students on achieving another important milestone in their lives. I hope you are enjoying your journey.

And, for fun, here’s a 4-minute video I made last year which connects the 1860s, 1960s and 2010s through thoughts surrounding progress. The video unites 16mm film my grandfather shot in 1964 with video Andrea shot on an iPhone and HDV I shot on pro-sumer camera last summer. The video documents some of my own journeys and juxtaposes permanence with transience.

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