In honor of all the celebrations that arise at this time of year!
A celebration arises,
a party as I ponder.
I’m whisked to age seven,
elbow to elbow with like-aged girls
wearing ponytails and tank tops
around a picnic table on the back porch.
Rainbow Brite doll rests on my lap,
Footloose be-bops in the background,
a birthday blessing belted aloud.
Now, I’m twelve,
summer air breezes,
a feast at Uncle Kenny’s home of food and frolic.
I nudge the grown men to let me join horseshoes,
a game of ping-pong and pool played,
a lazy unwind in the hot tub —
spoiled by indulgence.
a cacophony of people gathered,
friends, family and teachers for ME, the graduate.
Roast beef on kimmelwecks served as
laughter and stories spin wild.
Love pours out even as
I take all this for granted.
In a flash, down the aisle I go,
dancing and drinking to new life,
gathered up in white; awkward and happy.
I tie the knot encompassed by a lifetime of
community gleefully serenading
Chris and I with classic Beatles,
All you Need is Love.
Here I am with a newborn,
fresh skin and warm snuggles
on a sunny fall day to see water placed
upon his forehead, a reminder of
God’s love in his life,
“You are a child of God” proclaimed
by a doting congregation.
All the previous witnesses rally me in a bundle of spirit.
Their example, a love that lingers,
gives me strength to uplift and celebrate
a fifth grader rising to middle school,
a niece graduating from college,
the yearly birthdays
and special moments that arise each year.
Yes! We need to celebrate one another.
We need to encourage as we join together.
Feasting and merry-making brings joy,
telling stories adds humor,
playing games bring delight (even amid frustration)!
So, as we come upon the many
days of celebration in the coming months,
let us lay our envy aside,
omit our opinions about choices made,
leave our politics at home and instead,
bring our curiosity along to inquire of another’s life.
Let us ask questions of their dreams
and celebrate the other with abandon!
When we wake the next day
happily exhausted from the festivities,
may our hearts be open
to consider this new day —
this very ordinary hour —
where herbs waft their fragrance on our walkway,
dogs and cats are curled up sleeping,
another dinner is made on the stove—
a glorious day God has given us to celebrate!
This is the day the Lord has made,
let us rejoice and be glad in it! (Ps. 118:24)