Tuesday, September 30, 2008

All My Life's a Circle

I love this picture. I am three years old standing in my grandparent's living room wearing a t-shirt that reads "Shady Oak Fish Camp." The look of amazement, bewilderment, concern and surprise is due to the message coming from the other end of the phone. My parents are calling me from the hospital and telling me that I have a brand new sister. "Her name is Erica" they told me. I am so grateful my Grandma thought to take the picture.

I got another phone call today. This phone call was from my little sister, Erica, who is now all grown up, 31, married and living in Boston. She called me from the hospital. She had a baby girl.

Funny how life always seems to find a way to work itself out, to make the edges round, to become the same all over again, to come full circle.

These are the best parts of life, aren't they? There is nothing I enjoy more than seeing the face of a friend who is a father or mother for the first time. Knowing what they are going through, the experiences and emotions I have felt, they now have too. They are different, but in the end, they are very much the same.

All of us, humans, if you will, just trying to carve out a space in this world, trying to build relationships with people from father, mother, brother, sister, friend, co-worker or the stranger walking by that nods and smiles, hello. We're all better because of each other. Today, I am better because my sister and her husband know one of life's greatest joys. They are the parents of Austin Elouise Maite Archabal.

So I welcome my niece into this world and hope that in 25-30 years or so she has the same experience her mother is having now. I hope she realizes that this is a joy passed down through every generation, through every person that has ever lived.

I would be remiss if I didn't reference my favorite Harry Chapin song here. As you many know, Harry Chapin is best known for his song "Cats in the Craddle" but his best work is burried on albums that aren't mainstream, with songs that never made it to the radio because they were deemed too long. Why are we in such a big hurry?

Here is Harry Chapin singing, "Circle" - it runs about five minutes long, but I am sure if you look close enough you can find the relevance in your own life, and more importantly, the lives of everyone around you. Don't be in a hurry, sit back and enjoy.

The lyrics are below.

by Harry Chapin

All my life's a circle;
Sunrise and sundown;
Moon rolls thru the nighttime;
Till the daybreak comes around.

All my life's a circle;
But I can't tell you why;
Season's spinning round again;
The years keep rollin' by.

It seems like I've been here before;
I can't remember when;
But I have this funny feeling;
That we'll all be together again.

No straight lines make up my life;
And all my roads have bends;
There's no clear-cut beginnings;
And so far no dead-ends.

I found you a thousand times;
I guess you done the same;
But then we lose each other;
It's like a children's game;

As I find you here again;
A thought runs through my mind;
Our love is like a circle;
Let's go 'round one more time.



Kerry Colwell said...

Is that you in that picture or Drew? He is definitely your Mini-Me!

Josh Fleming said...

No, that's me. But correct you are. : )

linda said...

There is a beautiful and simple sign in ASL that conceptually grabs the import of this picture. It is the sign "since" and it covers the idea that from the past and on into the future something has occurred. As I look at this picture, I see a sensitive little boy curious about what the world is offering. Happily, some things
don't change. All our lives ARE a circle. As a G'ma, WOW- I know this more than ever before.

Annie said...

I'm a friend of Erica's from high school, and I've got three little ones of my own. I've been so excited for her to experience all of this, and I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed reading your blog entry. I am very close to my brother as well, and it is such a blessing to be able to share life experiences together.
Much congratulations on #4!

Leslie said...

I am also a friend of Erica's from high school and have been religiously following her blog as I have always loved Erica's outlook on the world and her creative way of putting it into words. After reading your blog I see that it runs in the family- your parents obviously did something right! Thanks for making me laugh out loud! -Leslie

erica said...

Thanks, Big Brother. That was pretty beautiful...and the circle keeps spinning around. I love you so much!

malinda said...

I too am a friend of Erica's, grateful to you for keeping us posted during her marathon, er, labor...thank you. Also think this post is beautiful. But it was the "chicken, snake and toilet paper" title that has hooked me. you've got a new reader...

erica said...

Wow. Erica you have some overly kind friends. I had to call mom who rummaged through her boxes of photos to find the one of me on the phone. Good stuff, so glad she found it.