I’ve been thinking a lot about circles.
I think about how every day, I walk in circles around our pond, circumventing the cattails and the banks grown high with grass, repeating steps and yet refusing to back-track behind me. Making loops, like tying ribbons – holding on tight to this beauty before me.
I think about how I traveled the world, driving and flying in circles in the stratosphere, until I found all I ever wanted a few blocks away from where I spent my childhood days. Funny how your feet have a way of walking you back home when your head is lost in the clouds.
I think about how one experience can lead to another opening – how our past-selves have always been preparing us for this moment in time. There are no accidental encounters.
I think, too, about the tense grip of anxiety, how it ravaged my mind and paralyzed my body in kind. About how the only thing that would ever calm me down was drawing circles on my skin, a sickening spiraling metaphor, or perhaps a reminder that this too shall end.
There is a reason our seasons are shifting. Our emotions bubbling up, boiling over, steaming hot like the heatwaves that bake our earth like an oven.
Because we’re all in the greenhouse now, with the doors shut, glass fogged up, choked up, breathing fast because the gases are rising higher now.
Because every action is a ripple – it all connects, it always has.
What we do to others, we do to our centered selfs. Externally as internally, to us to them.
There is no “away,” for in some ways it will always stay. It matters what we do and say, how we transform our collective becoming into a better way for all of us.
I have learned a lot this year from authors like Robin Wall Kimmerer in “Braiding Sweetgrass” and Dina Gilio-Whitaker in “As Long as Grass Grows” and all of the amazing contributors in “All We Can Save,” edited by Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Dr. Katharine Wilkinson. I have learned a lot from my coming-of-self this summer, stepping back and returning once again to my making-of-home. Sometimes, you know your own self best instead of whatever the Internet wants you to know.
I have been reflecting, too, on another circular journey: The circle of life. Thanks to Robin’s writing, I now see that death is no permanent end, only recycled, repurposed, resoiled elements. I’m believing that the air I carry with me, all around me, contains my loved and lost ones.
When I sing, I sing to them. When I laugh, I laugh with them. When I cry, I am held in space by them. All our endings are beginnings. Death is not quite the finale we believe, ecologically nor spiritually – lest we are deceived in a binary of being.
We will come back around again. Perhaps it will be then where we encounter our greatest fears and our greatest joys. Or perhaps we are already living in that reality, and we will get to do it all over again in another lifetime.
If these words come across your fingertips, I’m glad I have found you again. And I will slip away, like the tides bowing back, into my ocean of self. But just as currents flow, I hope I will see you again here, soon.