Saturday, May 15, 2010, was a day of universal balance. Three things happened that symbolized the true essence of existence in my little version of the world.
1) My friends' twin babies were born. The start of new life, and more importantly new life that I will be able to spoil and cuddle, began on Saturday. The twins were long expected and eagerly anticipated (not least of all by their mom who lugged them around all those months), and I can't wait to be part of their lives.
2) I watched several students I know graduate from college, finally ending their childhood in a real and significant way. While technically they have been adults for several years, it's that college graduation and entrance into the career world that really makes the transformation complete. In the coming weeks, months, and years, they will be building their adult life, along with all the intensity and randomness of the middle years.
3) My great uncle, Leonard, passed away. Mere hours before the emergence of the sweet new babies who entered the world, the world lost a great soul. Uncle Leonard was sweet, kind, and loving. He and his wife have been like a third set of grandparents for me my whole life because we celebrated Leonard's and my dad's mutual birthday every year. Leonard gave great bear hugs and loved to tease. His absence from the world is the world's loss.
All three of these things happening in one day makes me keenly aware of how time waits for no one, that we're not in control of the meandering life cycle, and that each phase of life has its small place of importance in the ongoing line of history. But even its importance is overshadowed by the relative brevity. We are who we are for as long as we are, and when we transition from life on earth to whatever comes next, we know there is someone (or, in this case 'someones'!) who will replace us and carry time forward.
In my life, right now, these new babies are delightful symbols of life moved on after the loss of another life I loved. They mean to me that I have to keep moving through the cycle in the same way that my uncle Leonard did before me and that they will after me. Leonard would love this connection of life as much as I do. Because he understood that's the balance of things.