Every Day is Saturday

Finding Joy in the Here and Now

This Thing Called Life

on October 30, 2021

“Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life” – Prince

I’ve just come home from a short trip to my college for Homecoming. A dear friend was being honored for his career achievements and I wouldn’t have missed the ceremony for the world.

I’ve written a lot about how much my alma mater means to me, and about the enduring love I have for the friends I made during that time. I’ve written about how I enjoy seeing my younger self in the buildings and on the walkways of that campus. I’ve written about the influence those years had on me. I thought I’d exhausted all the possibilities for reflection on this topic, but I was wrong. There’s more. Perspective changes over time and on this trip I had a revelation.

We all know (or I hope all of you know) that timeless feeling you get when you see an old friend again – you pick up the conversation like you just saw them yesterday, even though it may have been years. That’s love, and it warms my heart when it happens to me and when I see it happening between others. There was lots of that this weekend, as always, so that wasn’t revelatory.

The idea that opened up to me like a flower as I looked into the faces of my friends was “These are My People”. For whatever reason (and don’t go looking for a lot of rationality here because love isn’t rational) these are my people and I am their people and the reason we gather together is because we need each other to get through this thing called Life. These are the people who not only listen to our troubles they look for ways they can share the burden. They celebrate our triumphs and are happier for us than we are for ourselves. Why? Who knows. Who cares. It just IS.

It is a gift, and I unashamedly nurture and protect it. There is nothing in life more precious, more soul-feeding, than being with your people.

And I find this becomes more true every year that passes. As we get older our burdens become heavier, our worries more weighty. My people have lived lives of bravery and consequence. Some have survived unspeakable circumstances. Most have faced deep grief. All of us struggle to keep moving forward sometimes. My own challenges are daunting, and I lose myself in them more often than I’d wish. But this weekend I shared my burdens with my people, and they shared theirs with me, and I think we all feel a little lighter, a little better equipped to get through this thing called life.


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