Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Celebrate Everything!

Several weeks ago, one of my mathematically inclined friends invited me to celebrate Pi Day with him on March 14 at 1:59. Pi (3.14159… get it?) is a magic math number. My only recollection of encountering this mythical perfect number is in the formula for the circumference of a circle (thank you Mr. Stoecker) and now serves to help me calculate what size tablecloths to buy for the 72” round tables in the fellowship hall. Using my personal powers of logic more than my memory, I know that it is an important part of formulas for the volume of all things round and therefore also impacts the time I enjoy in the kitchen. So I plan to honor Pi Day with a wedge from a circular pie and a spherical scoop of ice cream! Why not? Celebration is good for the soul.

At a recent retreat for women we explored the concept of Vibrant Life. Throughout the retreat one theme kept surfacing – a vibrant life requires that we live in each moment. What diminishes the vibrancy of our lives is our tendency to live in the past or the future. Being present, and aware, helps us to celebrate each moment as it comes.

So celebrate Pi Day. Teach your kids, and yourself, to celebrate THIS day, not the SOME days we are dreaming will be perfect. These celebrations don’t have to be ritualized, decorated or contain special foods though if such things suggest themselves – go for it. Next week will bring the first day of spring and next month Easter and Earth Day and April Showers that bring May Flowers. Celebrate the geese passing overhead and the bluebonnets along the highway, heralding the arrival of spring. I know a family who celebrates “breakfast for supper nights.” Mark the days that provide reasons to celebrate: birthdays, anniversaries, baptismal birthdays, historical events, holidays, cultural events, spring break and any day without school or work!
Celebrate the normal days.  I appreciate the words of poet Mary Jean Irion:

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me learn from you,
love you,
bless you before you depart.
Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.
One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want,
more than all the world,
your return.
The normal days are not permanent.

At the core of all that we celebrate is life – life that comes from only one source, from God. To celebrate is to give thanks. Whether we celebrate mathematical perfection, the change of seasons, the life of a person we love, or the memory of a special event or person, to celebrate is to appreciate all that we have.

Your children will love these celebrations. They will even point out what needs to be celebrated: the first dandelion, the full moon, the yard sign announcing the arrival of the neighbor’s new baby.  You will love their capacity for fun and joy. Your blood pressure will drop, your muscles will relax, you will move more, you will smile, and smile again hours later. Celebrate everything.

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