By admin


Categories: celebrant musings


Once you decide to celebrate, everything changes.

Within those very real sad and challenging times that come to all of us, you’ll find blessings. It’s not that you’re immune from these depressing moments, it’s just that you know they are transitory and hold within themselves teachable moments.

I’ve been accused of being a Pollyanna, of seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses, of being unrealistic. Perhaps a bit of that criticism is accurate, but I think my joy in life comes from a far deeper spiritual place. And I think you can experience it, as well.

Children know how to do this.  They celebrate everything:

  • First time they ride a bike without training wheels.
  • First time they lose a tooth.
  • First star seen each night.
  • First trip to the beauty parlor.
  • First time they realize they can read.
  • First trip down the ski slope.
  • First time they swim across the pool.
  • First kiss.

Perhaps you can remember these events in your own life. I can.

Once you achieve a certain maturity, you know that life goes in cycles. Harry Chapin sang “All My Life’s a Circle” and the lyrics still ring true for me. Life is full of change and shifting and loss, but also hope and freshness and meaning.

All my life’s a circle, sunrise and sundown.

The moon rolls through the nighttime, ‘til the daybreak comes around.

All my life’s a circle, but I can’t tell you why,

Seasons spinning round again, the years keep rollin’ by.

Deciding how to mark celebrations is great fun. Jumping up and down, drinking a toast, loudly whooping, saying a prayer, writing a poem, taking a mental or actual picture, lighting a candle, calling a friend are all ways I’ve chosen to celebrate. It all begins with paying attention and living life with intention. Marking each celebration with some sort of ritual or symbolic act tends to plant its memory so that it can be recalled and re-lived.

As adults, moments we can choose to celebrate include:

  • Making it through the first holiday after the death of a spouse.
  • Saving a nest egg when saving’s been difficult.
  • Holding a newly born grandchild.
  • Marking the first fall day when the windows and doors can be open.
  • Cooking a fabulous meal.
  • Hearing from a long-lost friend.
  • Physically achieving something new.
  • Paying off a debt.
  • Recovering from an illness.
  • Even saying good-bye to a parent.

I wish you many celebrations.

Once you decide to celebrate, everything changes.