I stand on the cusp of a New Year ~ one now ending, another beginning. No, I don’t have my months messed up! I know that tomorrow is the 1st day of May: May Day! A beautiful day to be born!
Now more years than I can realize, I have been celebrating that I am! More years than I can remember I have enjoyed blessings galore, wafting down upon me like some rainbow-colored confetti sprinkled by the Hand of God. One in particular I do remember: the year I turned ten!
I have a Grandboy who just turned ten last week. Was I ever the age that he is? All fresh and expectant, knowing that a mix of good and not-so-good lies in wait? I was 9 turning 1~0, two digits, for probably the rest of my life. What a turning!
After school, I was to meet my mother at the school flag pole. Unbeknownst to me, so were the members of my entire Brownie Troop!
They’d each received an invitation a few days before ~ in code ~ so they wouldn’t forget it was to be a S.U.R.P.R.I.S.E Birthday Party. They’d been invited to “teem ta eht galf elop!” To read the invitation, each had had to figure out that it would only be understood by holding it up in front of a mirror!
Now how that was determined, I don’t know, but there they all were. And off we went on a hike to the local museum called “The Pink Palace”. Now the Pink Palace was one of my most favorite of all places to be. It had birds’ eggs – lots of them – in nests. And it had fossils. It even had a shrunken head ~ yuk!!
Where we were going, though, on this my 10th Birthday, was to the Planetarium in the museum. The ambiance (I surely didn’t know that word then!!) of the room where we could see STARS was mysterious and wooing. It was also my most favorite room in the entire museum. You got to sit in these wonderful, cushy chairs that reclined when the stars came out. Just before they did, the ceiling became this warm, rosy color as if the sun were setting right where you could almost reach out and touch it. Such peace! Such amazement! Such wonder! We learned of the heavens just as they were at that very time and season. We heard names like “Orion’s Belt” and “the Seven Sisters coming home from their Bridge Party.” We saw where we could find the Little Dipper pouring into the Big Dipper in the heavenlies that very night. We saw how the stars rise on the horizon and set just like the sun on the other side of the expanse of night sky.
And I learned in those days at Sunday School words from the Psalms like: The Heavens declare the Glory of God and the firmament displays His Handiwork. Day unto day utters speech and night unto night shows knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. (Psalm 19) I learned of a Creative God whose Power extends beyond the confines of this limited sphere we call Earth. I learned that He is a speaking, communicating God who desires communion with His Children. I got a glimpse then, sitting in that dynamic ‘Simulator of the Heavens’ of our Omnipotent, Omniscient God which became formative for my worship of Him for the rest of my life. It fit with the Catechism I was learning, too. “What is the Chief end of Man?” “To glorify (worship) God and to enjoy Him forever.”
I stood then on another cusp, a point of transition between two different states; I was transitioning from childhood with a rapid trajectory into what we call today the ‘Tweens. I would no longer be a ‘Brownie’ when I entered Fifth Grade; I would be a full-fledged Girl Scout. I no longer would be a Big Sister to one Little Sister, but soon would be Big Sister to a Little Brother, as well. I would wear that role like a Badge, “mothering” this little one as if he were my own. I would have more chores at home and more privileges to go out and travel farther from home. In fact, I could now walk to the Pink Palace with my friends ~ all by ourselves ~ without a Grown-Up!
Tonight as I transition into yet another year of growth and challenge, another year of surprises and blessing, I look out from where I am with Hope. I want to be a Light shining in the darkness of these changing Times. I want to season the lives of others with my words and with my heart-felt presence. I want to be Salt, helping to preserve what is to be treasured from the past, and adding fresh spice to what is lies ahead. I am truly most blessed!