Come to the Circle
This poem was an inspired work born from the suggestion of my daughter, Courtney, to contribute something to her theater classes’ lab series, In Celebration of Women, back when she was in college. At the time, I remember telling Courtney that I would sleep on the idea and if something came to me, I’d send it along. Two days later at four o’clock in the morning, I gave birth to this poem.
In the process of pondering a celebration of women, I envisioned women during ancient times coming together in circles…beside a campfire, around the well, at a sewing circle, around the kitchen table, together at a birth and around the bed of the sick and dying.
Circles are ancient in origin. Black Elk, the Lakota medicine man said, “life is a circle from childhood to childhood.”
Circles, cycles, and spirals are all sacred and have been since humans first walked this earth. Why? My guess is that our early ancestors recognized that everything in life returned to its origin, sooner or later. Seasons follow each other, animals often return to the very place they were born to have their own young, plants start as seeds and end as seeds. As Black Elk pointed out, “It is so in everything, where power moves.”
Even childhood games are played in a circle…marbles; duck, duck, goose; Little Sally Waters and Ring around the Rosy. Think for a second about that last game, about what is sung…Ring around the rosy/pocketful of poseys/ashes, ashes/we all fall down…even in this game, played in a circle, there is the awareness of the cycles of life.
Today, there are few people who know that this game was created during the great plague in Europe. People carried posies (flowers) to keep the smell of the death from overpowering them. For many, in those days before antibiotics, it was literally ashes to ashes. The last phrase, for me, is an important reminder… “we all fall down”…when one suffers, the whole suffers.
Come to the circle! What an invitation! In a spiritual setting such as this blog, it is an unconditional call to all to join in the Power of our combined truths.
In the seven principles of the Unitarians the last principle is, "respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”
"The interdependent web" - yet, another circle!
Writer, Neale Donald Walsch, states so eloquently, that circles are “also the symbol…of unity, but not of possession, of joining, but not of restricting, of encirclement, but not of entrapment. For Love cannot be possessed, nor can it be restricted. And a soul can never be entrapped!”
As the seasons change to shorter days and longer nights and the circles of Life bring us to the places we have been as well as the places we have yet to go, let us remember the words of the Albert Einstein, who challenged all to see that, “Our task must be …to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
It is, after all, the all-encompassing Compassion and Love we have for one another that brings us together, calling all to Come to the Circle.