First there is the circle of love that surrounds me: family, friends, children, pets, and random strangers whose kindness reminds me of how we are connected in spirit through our humanity.
Next there is the circle of security that gives me comfort in my life: my marriage symbolized by rings, and my home that surrounds me in warmth.
Finally there is the endless repetition of circles in nature that reinforce my spiritual faith. I'm sure the most prominent hint I am given of the existence of God and eternity is through the seasons. Although we are entering the depths of winter, spring is on its way without question. My birthday brings this past year full circle for me, just a piece of a season in the journey of my life.
I am not a big fan of change, but I know that it is a good thing. When I was newly married my paternal grandfather passed away. At his wake people were putting things in his coffin, like pictures. I felt awkward because I did not really have a close relationship with him. I slipped him a note, feeling the sad regret of never saying the words I wrote aloud to him during his life. It read:
I'm sorry I didn't get to know you as much as I would have liked. I will always remember you. My favorite flower is still the lilac. When I see it in bloom I think of the bush in your backyard, and how you cut so many blossoms for my to take home when I was small. They smelled so sweet. I love you.
His funeral took place on a really cold day, and I remember picking up some hyacinths on a whim later at the grocery store. I was thinking of the lilacs, since the two plants have similar-looking blossoms. These were only in the bud stage. I put them in the kitchen and went to bed. The next morning, the hyacinths had fully bloomed, long fragrant, purple stalks. I thought of the lilac tree and my note. Perhaps grandpa was answering me in the only way he could, through nature. The gift of this sooner-than-expected bloom gave me hope that winter would soon be transformed.
winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom,
but we hope it, we know it." - Johann Wolfgang Goethe