"All my life’s a circle, sunrise & sundown, Moon rolls thru the nighttime til day break comes around. All my life’s a circle, still I wonder why. Seasons spinning ’round again,years keep rolling by. Seems like I’ve been here before, can’t remember when. I get this funny feeling, we’ll be together again. No straight lines make up my life, all my roads have bends. No clearcut beginning, so far no dead ends." ~Harry Chapin, Circles
There are many ways we mark the passage of time. We celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. We watch the seasons change from the greening promise of spring to the beauty of autumn leaves changing to brilliant reds and golds and finally to the brown that sends them cascading onto the first snow of winter. Some people make an ‘X’ on their calendars to mark off another day accomplished. Sometimes these passages of time can feel exciting and full of promise. Other times they bring great sadness and loss.
A couple of weeks ago our oldest son celebrated his 21st birthday. It was a great reminder of the passage of time. How did this young, energetic blonde-headed boy become an adult right before our very eyes? And while he speaks of his age as if it is ancient, how is it that I don’t feel any older at all? I guess the passage of time is lined with the membranes of grace.
Yesterday I held the new born son of a young woman that I used to babysit for when she was in third grade. His newness in the world was written all over him from his fuzzy cheeks to the way he would squint his eyes at the light that must seem so bright after nine months in dark, watery safety. We talked and I observed the same quiet, strong spirit alive in her that I witnessed in her as a child. But here we were. Three generations sitting quietly together marking a passage of time. I felt blessed to be aware of its significance.
Writing these words I am reminded of the ancient Celts who did not think of time as linear, as passing, but as continuous like a circle. Their sense that all time is existing in this circular nature, that those who have gone before and those who are yet to be are among us, softens the edges of the feeling of passage. There is even more grace in that notion. The saints who lived are still living and time is not divided into losses and gains.
That young girl who inspired me with her strength and wisdom lives in the young woman who now cradles her newborn. The energy and exuberance of our first born son now shines forth from the sparkling blue eyes of the 21-year-old man ready to take on the world. And so it goes. Round and round, not passage of time as much as sacred circle in which we all travel, floating in grace.
Have a blessed weekend……………….