I have often heard that just before a person dies that their life passes before them in a few seconds much like a movie on fast forward. When I was much younger I assumed that this had to be impossible due to the numerous events that happened during a full life…especially of a person of advanced years. How could a complex and varied experience life boil down to a mini documentary?
My birthday is the twenty-fourth of this month. It transpires during my favorite season of the year, autumn. I feel more creative during this time of the year and I have more energy. My friend Steve, of over forty years, was born on the same day as I. Although he is a little older. In December my high school graduating class of 1975 is having our forty year reunion. It seems like yesterday…most of them I have not seen since graduation. Their yearbook appearance is frozen in my mind. Mary Jane and I laugh when from time to time we remark that someone whom we have not seen in a few years is looking older…as we wonder what their reaction was to our appearance.
When I started working for Southern Illinois University in 1978 I thought that it would never end. At the conclusion of this year I will be retired five years. My sons are thirty-three and thirty-one…not long ago…it seems…they sat on my knee and their mother and I dreamed of their future.
Life is much like a book and there are chapters contained therein. As James Taylor sings, ” The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.”
I was watching a series on PBS the other night where the commentator stated that our visual reality was only what our eyes along with our brain allowed us to see. He went on to say that our brain composes a visual reality from the limited information that our eyes send to it…and that our reality is not the same as another human’s visual brain story. Sounds like science fiction doesn’t it? But apparently this is science fact.
It has been said that, ” Life is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.”
Jesus said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another, as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” KJV
William Shakespeare said, “All the world is a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts,…”
And now for some photographs from Southern Illinois University at my favorite time of year:
I am told to expect white cake and triple chocolate ice cream Saturday as we travel to Fischers, Indiana to celebrate my birthday with Aaron my oldest son. It does not get any better than that!
During our visit to England in August of 2012 I was so hoping to see Stonehenge. For a moment it appeared that time constraints would not allow us to travel there from our hotel in Red Hill until our dear friends Margo and Jeff volunteered to drive us there with a stop first at the Wiltshire village of Avebury which is ninety miles west of London and twenty miles north of Stonehenge. Avebury is the home of the largest know stone ring or henge in the world and is calculated to be older than Stonehenge.
When we arrived at Avebury it was misting rain and so I elected to leave my camera in the car so as not to get it wet. This turned out to be one of the more uninformed decisions that I have made in some time. We entered the visitors area where a woman told us about touring the Avebury Henge as well as the report that there was a new crop circle in the field adjacent to the stone circle. Avebury Henge is 1401 feet in diameter and sprawls over 28 acres.
Now the stone circles at Avebury are fascinating and their purpose has been lost to the obscurity of history. Formed in the Neolithic Age around 2500BC they were rediscovered in modern times by John Aubrey in 1649 who stumbled upon then when he was fox hunting. He said that, “Avebury does as much exceed in greatness the so reckoned Stonehenge, as a cathedral doth a parish Church.”
Having been surrounded by the mysterious stones of the Avebury Henge I really believed that there was probably nothing that could be more mysterious until we climbed a steep hill and beheld an extremely large and painstakingly intricate crop circle. The design and pattern seemed to be geometrically perfect…somewhat otherworldly.
The above pictures are of Avebury Crop Circles…but not the one that Mary Jane, Margo, Jonathon, and I saw on that misty mysterious Avebury morning. When we returned to the United States Mary Jane found a picture of the exact crop circle dated the day that we saw it…she bookmarked it…and now it is gone from the web site. As we were walking along the hill peering down on to the field with the amazing art work formed upon it I noticed a man and woman that I could have sworn that I had seen on the History Channel, on American television, who investigated crop circles…they looked as amazed as we did. The proprietors of the visitor’s Inn said that the circle had appeared overnight….As they often do.