Bird Droppings January 27, 2013
The circle is a basis for life
I missed the last rerun of a favorite miniseries “Into the west” and one of these days will find the DVD set. The movie starts and ends with a circle of stones; there is a line going east to west and one going north to south through the center of the circle. In the back area of our yard we have been building a memory garden. It is basically a rock garden with numerous succulents and sedums planted among the rocks that are special to us. The garden when finished will be a circle. Each quadrant has a space which eventually will be filled with a young tree. A cedar was given to us when my wife’s father passed away by my friends at the high school. Another will eventually honor my father in law at the opposite side as we finish our project hopefully this summer.
“You have noticed that everything as Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round….. The Sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nest in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours…. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.” Black Elk Ogallala Sioux Holy Man
It has been over forty years since I wrote a short poem of shorts. At that time it was an autobiography, “One little circle – alone – unopened”, fbird, 1970. It has been nearly eight years since I headed towards Piedmont college my last time as a student and I thought is the circle alone, unopened. I had grown very close to the people in my cohort. As I attended graduate school at Piedmont I found I became a much better teacher as I became a better student. Henry David Thoreau was a teacher till he realized he must be a learner first, a student and in doing so he became a better teacher.
As I look at the circle I have completed in my own education it is only the beginning not the ending and the circle of friends and fellow learners in my cohort at Piedmont and now as I continued my education at Georgia Southern I found the teachers at my own school all touch unto that circle and in effect keep it spinning and evolving. Black Elk an Ogallala Sioux holy man used nature to define this circle nearly a hundred fifty years ago. Follow the Buffalo the holy man of the movie series “Into the West” was sitting in the sacred circle in the North Dakota hills throughout the movie as he addressed the white man with various other characters it was always in relationship to the circle. My son once told me of a circle’s definition in geometric terms borrowing from Wikipedia.
“In Euclidean geometry, a circle is the set of all points in a plane at a fixed distance, called the radius, from a fixed point, called the center.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
As I sit here thinking pondering my circle has grown in as I am always furthering my education. My circle includes all I have met, emailed, talked with in grocery stores, schools, colleges and numerous other places around the world. The circle continues and grows with each step, each word, each sensation and each breath I take while I am privileged to live. It is with the passing of a friend and fellow teacher and educator I see the circle today. I shared a thought yesterday imposed on an image from the sunrise of yesterday often attributed to either Mahatma Gandhi or William Penn. As I researched it is based in Quaker thought and more often than not attributed to Penn. Gandhi however living a life of Quaker type faith I am sure could have said it just as easily.
“I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature. Let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.” William Penn
Please as you think about your own circle keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and to always give thanks namaste.
Wa de (Skee)