For me, May is a time for reflection. Four years ago, I retired from an amazing decade of work at Intersections International. I wrote a blog that first week in May that shared in a very personal way the core idea behind my time at Intersections—that seemingly contradictory forces can co-exist in our lives and if we are attentive, we can learn from these “intersections” and become ever more responsive human beings. On the day of my retirement, my Dad passed away—a moment of both profound joy and profound sadness at the same time. I am reminded that it has been four years since my Dad passed (and a year and a half since he was joined by my Mom), how much influence these two amazing people have had in my life and how much I still miss them.
Unstated in that post is the fact that the same day my Dad died is my wife Blythe’s and my anniversary. This year marks our 22nd. The poignancy of four years ago has diminished over time but the joy and gratitude of having had such an amazing person share my life for more than two decades does not diminish. Intelligent, creative and sensitive to a fault, her patience, support and understanding of me is beyond mind boggling. I love the way she bounds out of bed in the morning…to feed the birds. Blythe has a way of elevating every one of God’s creatures to sacred status. Her heart is so big. Sure, we’ve had our “moments” as all couples do—but the thought of life without her is too difficult to bear.
A couple weeks after my initial entry, I wrote another that outlined what I hoped to do with the next chapter of my life. Thus began a weekly ritual (I have missed only four weeks since) through which I’ve been able to connect with you, dear readers, on a consistent basis. I am humbled by your continuing loyalty to these posts. Sometimes I am surprised to read entries in the comments section (or in personal notes) as they come from individuals whom I’ve not heard from for a long time. It is always great to reconnect and to know that we continue to be in contact. Even though I may not be fully aware of the particulars—I feel the presence of this cosmic community all the time.
And, those moments when you respond to a certain topic or, as happened this past week, simply offer an affirmation of these writings, are moments that mean more than you can imagine and make the hard work behind this weekly pattern so infinitely rewarding.
In one of countless zoom conversations this week, I was reflecting with others on cycles of life and the value of the passage of time—as expressed in relationships, in long-running projects, in the seasons of life—all existing within the context of the recent divisiveness in our society, the seemingly endless pandemic, the volatile economy and uncertainty about the future. Someone mentioned two words that have stayed with me as I reflect on my annual journey down this road of memories that emerges each May. Those words: humility and gratitude. Gratitude for those who have enriched my life in ways too numerous to count, and humility for the varied and often intense life experiences they have shared with me. Yes. It is a good thing to sometimes step away from the headlines and to pause and reflect on the many blessings of life.