This image came to mind one day for me, two circles in how they join. Two circles, separate, except for a small sliver their intersecting point. The sliver can be made larger and smaller as the circles roll. But each circle also their own whole. In the middle where the circles intersect is a chalkboard and a desk, symbolic of what the two individuals inside the sliver do best. Inside this sliver is fulfillment of a vow made. The role of teacher and of student each partakes. One could be the teacher for the duration of the connecting point while the other learns what they seek for growth. Or both could take turns being in both roles.
Each circle also needs to retain its own shape, for no two circles can be exactly alike. And the lesson plans inside the sliver would be for naught if only one circle one would find. The beauty of the circles is that once the sliver takes place, that which originally joined the two circles never fades. Each circle expands, having been given the gift to grow. The teacher having graciously shown what the student desired to know. A permanent stamp held within the heart of the circle as it stretches and reaches outward and up to the sky. All that the circle has learned never forgotten, even if not readily in sight.
As the circle grows, so too, does its reach. Downward for grounding, outward at all angles paying forward what someone else offered to teach. Each limb, like each circle, unique in who it is meant to be. Each limb growing at an angle that is best for the whole tree. Each lesson plan that enabled the circle to grow from its tiniest round loop to now; the lessons combining for what the circle now puts into use for climbers and pilots that rest in its bows.
Perhaps it is the lesson that taught the right limb to withstand the wind without breaking in two. Or perhaps it is the lesson that taught the left limb that the snow would soon be through. Or maybe it is the limb that is reaching upward towards the sunshine. It has learned the warmth will come again after the frosty night. And maybe it is the lesson that there is a dance that happens between the drought and the rain; to trust that within one’s limbs is a reserve of endurance and strength.
The symbolism of a circle, such as that which I’ve described. There are other circles, such as the circle of life. There is the going around to come back around to see if we have learned what we need. There is the circular peeling back of layers, like an onion unfolding. There is the tight circle of a bud that then unveils its pedals like arms gently opening. There is the circle of unison, bands that speak you and me now we. There is the circle of a scoop of ice cream, the circle of a merry-go-round or bicycle for two. The circle of sign language that says okay, the circle of a tied lace on a shoe. There is the circle from midnight to three, to six, to nine, and back to the stroke of a new day. There is the circle of the moon, and the circle of the sun as center to its rays. There is the circle of a race track that fosters speed. There is the circle of a bowl that holds a warm cup of soup we find nourishing.
Think of a circle that to you speaks. If you would like, think of two or three. Is there a literal circle that you hold dear, like a special flower bed or maybe a pocket watch that is a family legacy? Or perhaps there is a symbolic circle that guides your life journey. Maybe you think in terms of circles that come back around to you. Or maybe you think of circles as enveloping individuals into a collective group. Can you think of a circle in terms of how it expands and grows? If you think of the inner trunk of a tree, what would those rings want you to know? If you looked at your story lived thus far, what would be revealed in the layers of your heart?
Would you be able to define each layer as a milestone you reached? Or maybe a life changing moment that left a defining ring? Would there be clouds hiding a certain section of the circle that goes around? Perhaps at those clouds is where a painful memory can be found. If you imagined running a planer board over the surface that you see, what would be revealed at the layers beneath? Would you see the grains of wood in a new way? Would beauty appear where before you saw only the scars and decay?
Like each moment we live, we have a choice in how we see. We can choose to see a circle that has no opening. Or we can choose to see a circle as secure and nonbreaking. We can choose to see a circle as once a dot that then spiraled outward and upward as it grew. Or we can choose to see a circle as only a flat repeating loop. I like to think of a circle that expands and gives as it stretches its reach. And yet, like a honeycomb of a bee’s nest, each circle contributing. Contribution individually to a greater whole. Around and around circles go.