A circle has no beginning and no end. Our world, our solar system, our universe, even life itself, are all about circles. The moon circles the earth, the earth circles the sun, the sun circles the center of the Milky Way and the Milky Way circles the center of the universe. Everything in circles.
Autumn begins soon. The death of summer gives birth to autumn. We will celebrate the birth of a new season and pine the passing of another. The circle of the seasons turns slowly, but the seasons pass quickly. It seems only yesterday we were celebrating the birth of summer, now it is autumn again. The circle of time deceived me again. I thought I had more time than I did. Summer's gone and when I blink my eyes winter will be here.
Our lives are circles too. Rich or poor, black or white, Christian, Jew, or Muslim, it does not matter. We all share at least two things; we are all born and we will all die. The circle of live revolves from birth to death for each of us, no matter who we are. Not one of us can escape the circle of life.
As autumn approaches and summer ends, I find myself reflecting on where I stand in my own circle of life. If my circle of life were a clock would the bell be tolling 8 o'clock or 9 o'clock? It might even be later than that. I cannot see the hands on the face of the clock that rests in the center of the circle of my life. It may be closer to midnight than I imagine. Or, midnight might be several hours away. One thing I know, it's not morning anymore; it's not even afternoon. It's evening. If my life were a season, it would be autumn. But is it early autumn, when the days and nights are of equal length, or is it late autumn where the nights are long and the days are short? I cannot know because I cannot see the date on the clock that lies in the center of my own circle of life.
I waste time as if I had all the time in the world. The face of the clock in the middle of the circle of my life is shrouded in a mist so thick I cannot see it. I don't want to see it anyway. I'm afraid to see where the hands of the clock are pointing.
I hear the clock ticking behind me. The house is dark and quiet. The clock has just chimed eleven times. Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, each second ticking away. The hands on the clock don't seem to move when I watch them. But when I turn away and look back the clock's hands tell me it is now 11:06. Where did those six minutes go?
It's late and I want to sleep. I imagine the circumference of the circle of my live is bounded by a river. As my life's journey began the river flowed lazily; barely a ripple could be seen in the slow current. There were only a few ripples as the river passed through some narrow canyons along the way. The river flowed so slowly that I barely knew I was moving.
The raft on which I travel is floating on more turbulent waters now and the river is flowing faster and faster and faster through the ethereal and enigmatic realm of the rapids of time. I just passed through a land of green trees, emerald grass, and beautiful flowers of every color. But now the trees aren't so green. The leaves look old and tired and ready to die. Some are already red and yellow - colorful death throes; a signal that time is passing more quickly on this river. The water isn't placid anymore, it is foamy and white and buzzing with the sound of a waterfall in the distance. I cannot tell how far it is, but I know it is there because I can hear it. And, I know I cannot escape its cataracts. Its only a matter of time before its thundering cascades take me.
I cannot leave the raft I am on and I cannot get off the river the flows at the edge of the circle of my life. And the waterfall up ahead which I cannot escape must not distract me from making the most of what is left of my journey. Sometimes it is hard to ignore the sound of the falls up ahead, but I must or the thought paralyzes me. And I cannot allow that to happen. I have so much more I want to do and see on this river.
I like to think once the waterfall crushes me and ends my life that I will wake up on another raft right back on the river, right back where I started - in the peaceful, placid, still water, in the springtime of life. Even if I did I would never know it because I would never remember this journey. The waterfall will claim me and the river will flow on and on without me. I will be out of time and the hands on the face on the circle of the clock of my life will be stuck at 12:00.
The moon is circling above. The clock's hands circle its face. Each tick, tick, tick of the clock moves the hands a little closer to midnight.
I travel in my circle of life and you in yours. Summer is passing and while autumn is born. And everything circles a universe unfolding exactly as it should.
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