There are 365 days in every year – and then every four years we get one more day. But every year there are 365 days. A night and a day, the first day, the second day, and so on. Really – for ever and all time. Genesis starts out this way. There was darkness — well, I’m not going to tell that whole story here – you can look it up if you like. It will be at the very beginning of any Bible that you happen to have handy. There is night and day because the earth rotates on its axis. There are years because the earth revolves around the sun. You probably knew that part.
This isn’t really a blog about how the earth rotates and revolves, though. It’s more about what happens while the earth rotates and revolves. Here’s what’s been happening just in my tiny little life in the couple of rotations of the earth.
Last night I helped to celebrate the wedding of two dear friends. This same wedding to which I referred in a previous post about dancing. Well, I did join in the line dance, which was great fun. I watched the other dances and thought how much my husband would have enjoyed being there. I just didn’t have the heart to dance with another partner yet. Still, the wedding was beautiful.
I ordered a Campbell tartan sash just for the occasion (Campbell of Argyle, although not my favorite Campbell tartan – but it was readily available), and wore it as an outward symbol of my continuing love for the memory of my husband. I also put his wedding band on a silver bracelet and wore it as a charm. It was like carrying him with me. I liked that idea so much that I haven’t taken it off.
I had so hoped that Don, my husband, would have been able to be at the wedding. I really did love to see him in a kilt. But the world keeps turning, and it was not to be. The date was set a long time ago, and things happened the way they did. And, I did have a lovely time. The entire world didn’t stop to mourn with me. Friends have taken time to be with me, the bride and groom among my most reliable supporters. However, we all have our own lives, and things keep going on. The wheels are in motion everywhere. Did I mention that it was a lovely wedding? It really was. And I am SO happy for the newlyweds. Things keep going.
Today a friend of mine, whom I met in seminary, but who was a few years ahead of me, was in town and preaching. She has moved out of state, so I don’t get to see her very often, and I’d never had the chance to hear her preach before. I saw her for a social visit earlier in the week, but it was so nice to visit another congregation in the area and see and hear a colleague in the pulpit.
I’d been to a wedding last night, and there was more going on for me today than just church (stay tuned), but this was important to me. So glad I went, too. It’s funny, but I can worship a little more easily where I’m a visitor these days. Ah, but that’s another blog.
Here’s the other thing about today. It’s July 21. Today my youngest, Sean, would have been 16. He was killed in an accident nine years ago, just weeks before his seventh birthday. I can hardly imagine him learning to drive.
I forgot to send flowers to the cemetery. Of course, I’ve been forgetting to do a lot of things lately. I’ve been taking lots of wrong turns. Missing exits. Forgetting words. I’m grieving, I get it. And his grave is about to be dug up, anyway. But this is the first time I’ve forgotten to send flowers on his birthday.
On Friday, Don will be buried in the same grave. This is because Sean is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, and dependents are allowed to be buried there, as long as they are buried in the same grave with the military member. So back in 2004, Don had to sign a paper saying that he agreed to be buried at ANC. The groom will be there playing bagpipes.
And all the while, the world keeps turning. Every day. People are born, and die, and good things happen, and bad things happen, and everyday things happen.
On days of terrible national and international tragedy, babies are still born, and people still die apart from the tragedies. The world keeps turning.
When I was in the third grade, a classmate died in an accident on a Friday afternoon after school. I remember thinking then, “how can people just keep going on with their lives? Don’t they know that <friend> died?” But of course, most people didn’t know that. And even the people who did know also knew that the world keeps turning. Life goes on. Life and the living go on.
Do you remember the Midnight Oil song from the 80s – Beds Are Burning? I was thinking about that when I started to write this. How can we sleep when our beds are burning? the song asks. Well, we do. We do because we must sleep. Then we get up, and we do what we can, and we interact with all the other folks who have all the things going on in their lives. We know some of it – we might know a lot of it. We help when and where we can. And the world just keeps on turning.
That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. What’s happening in your life?