Until recently, I saw my life as a trajectory….shot forth from the womb, propelling forward through time and space into my life and toward some horizon that I would reach one day. There have been many curves, backtracks, zig zags, and missing pieces. Slow motion, fast motion, stalls and breakdowns. Always a horizon, “out there”, stretching on beyond time and sight. Always the thought, “Tomorrow, next week, month, year, when I finish such and such…have enough money, education, when the kids have gone to college, when I’m settled, retired…I’ll have time.”
As the contemporary spiritual teacher Ekhart Tolle (The Power of Now, A New Earth) says, “You think you have time…no, you don’t….whether 10 years or 100, it’s over quickly…” The only time is now…
Lately, my view of life has become less of a trajectory and more of a circle. As the line of the horizon begins to blur, I am absolutely aware that the horizon is here, it is now and no longer a distant goal or time or place. I see a circle coming fully round through many seasons of change and transition. Beautiful alchemy, where the past is transformed and merged with the present. Over the last 2 years, particularly, and as far back as 10, I have had a series of “reconnections,” with people and events in my life.
You think you have time…no, you don’t….whether 10 years or 100, it’s over quickly…
Thanks to Facebook, 10 years ago I found my French family with whom I spent one of the most significant summers of my life at age 19 and 20, and have been spending time with them every year or so since. I have reconnected with childhood friends, college roommates, old boyfriends, old crushes (one from 50+ years ago!), and family lost long ago because life works that way sometimes. People are calling, knowing I am leaving the country for a time, wanting to see me, catch up, say goodbye. In 2017 I celebrated my 50 year reunion from high school. Our class gathered over a weekend to reminisce about our formative years together, and share our present lives. It was magic, even though some of us have kept in touch over the years. There were only 50 of us in the class, some of us were fast friends, others not so much. However, at this season of our lives, we are one. We marveled how unique it is to have friends who knew us 50 years ago, when we were not yet fully formed, not yet the women we have become. We appreciate each other now and see the gifts instead of the flaws. We all have some of each, and the gifts are so much more beautiful.
And there have been those whose circles are complete. I lost my beautiful friend and French “sister” in 2015 to cancer, and am about to lose another from my high school years. We will all come to the end of our circle, and I am aware that “time waits for no (wo)man.” As Mary Oliver, the great writer and poet, who just completed her last circle around the sun, wrote, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” It is not too late. Do it now.
So, as I complete my 70th year of clock time, I have a new sense of the circle of life rather than a fixed Point-A-to-Point-B timeline. It has been and continues to be a wonderful and miraculous ride, and I am holding on and cycling with the sun in my face and on my back. My circle continues….