The tiny speck of space dust we call home (the earth) treks around its nearest star (the sun) annually. To cover this nearly 600 million mile journey each year, our little blue marble hurtles through space, taking us along for the ride at approximately 67,000 miles per hour. For reference – at that blistering pace you could make it from Los Angeles to Washington DC in about 3 minutes.
Today I find myself contemplating “a year” and just what that really means because I was struck by the two different, yet similar birthday parties my family and I attended over the weekend together. One was for a classmate of Cade’s who was celebrating the completion of her 7th trip around the sun. The other was for Yan’s grandmother, Cade and Ella’s great grandmother, who was commemorating her 91st solar circumnavigation.
They both celebrated their special day surrounded by friends and family, food and laughter. Happy birthday was sung; presents were given. There was cake, and candles, and birthday wishes for each. Yet their individual experience was so totally unlike one another’s, all based on their individual perspectives.
Though each of them lives inside the same blink of an eye in the cosmic sense, they are at complete opposite ends of the spectrum from a “human mortality” point of view. Cade’s young friend has her whole life ahead of her, filled with yet to be realized dreams and uncapped potential. My children’s great grandmother (tàipó in Chinese, which is what they call her) is well into her twilight years with a long, happy life and a big, loving family to show for it.
Each of the two precious, beautiful lives we just celebrated means something special and should continue to do so … not just for years to come, but for generations to come, too. One of my passions is to find ways to honor the lives of our loved ones as they are unfolding, and also long after they’ve taken the final bow of their last curtain call. If finding ways to preserve and pass on a legacy gets your creative juices flowing too, drop me a line. I’d love to know your thoughts.