Recently I have thought a lot about the communities and circles that I have belonged to over the course of my life. I often think about my connections to specific people in these communities with sadness over the losses of these relationships; but, I am finding my thinking on this is shifting. I am accepting that loss is simply a part of this cycle of community.
As human beings we share a need for connection and belonging. On our life journey we meet many people and have opportunity to be a part of many different communities. Many of these connections to others are temporary. People bring their gifts into our lives and we into theirs for a season. Each experience molds and shapes us providing opportunity for continued growth. So, as I think about those whose lives have touched mine, I hope that I will be more aware of my gratitude for the gifts they have shared and less focused on the loss.
As I think about community I am drawn to the symbol of the circle. The circle represents unity, wholeness, inclusiveness. It has no beginning or ending point. Perhaps these communities, these circles, to which I have belonged also have no end. They live on in my heart and mind and in the hearts and minds of all of their members. Their gifts continue to be expressed in the lives of these members as they move forward on their journeys into new circles and communities and thus exponentially the gifts are shared. It is possible that these connections I grieve are not losses at all; but, simply partings as we move forward down different paths. There is a Chinese legend which suggests that we are connected to all those we are destined to meet by an invisible red thread. Who knows, perhaps I am still connected to the people I am missing by that invisible red thread of the Chinese legend; and, we may find ourselves traveling the same stretch of road on this grand adventure we call life again sometime in the future.