Archive for September 25th, 2011


final exams

It is almost seven in the morning, and it is still dark outside. This reminds me that we have entered the “dark” half of the year. In a couple months it will be the “dark and cold” part of the year which, for me, takes much more effort to enjoy. When I lived in Minnesota where the dark and cold are more pronounced and extreme, this was a time of spiritual despondency for me. Now that I live so much farther south, this reaction is much more muted and tempered by the thought that even the coldest and shortest days here have their bright and warm parts.

Since I designed this runic calendar more than twenty years ago, I have used the analogy of the year’s seasons to understand the progression of all cycles of transformative change—most particularly the seasons of my life. I was born in the springtime, and spring and summer—the “light” half of the year—most naturally have come to represent my youth.  Now that I am in my sixties, I am constantly reminded that I am now well into the “dark” half of my life cycle.

I would be surprised if I have more than a decade left before my time comes to graduate on to the next springtime. If this is so, then I am in my “final exam” season before graduation. The time ahead is when we will see if I have learned sufficiently from life.

Obviously I think I’ve learned a lot and maybe enough; otherwise I would not have the confidence to be addressing the terrible problems which confound and threaten to destroy the lives of the kids I serve.

Since Otto’s death a week ago, the words “memento mori” have been repeatedly whispered in my ear. I know I have a limited amount of time remaining to prove whether I have learned enough to pass on a legacy that will stand the test of time beyond my time.

The days are short and the road is long. God willing, there will be days enough to succeed.


Groove of the Day 

Listen to Arlo Guthrie performing “Days Are Short”