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Rev. Sandra Schubert

Let Us Celebrate
by Sandra Lee Schubert

“Sunrise, sunset, swiftly flow the days.”

I don’t know if I am the right person to write about the celebration of life.  I am sad and I feel angry.  My knees hurt.  My allergies and asthma are in full bloom along with the trees on the block.  The pressure is up in my eyes.  My rent is increasing another eighty dollars and my phone bill is out of control and on top of it all a close friend recently passed away.  I got the call just over a month ago that he was sick and back home in Montana.  It was lung cancer and six months to live.  Then a friend went to see him and he was sicker then expected and the diagnosis was six weeks.  A week later he died.


When I first heard the news about his illness I was desperate to speak to him.  We used to talk every day but he had moved away to Connecticut and a busy job and the daily talks were now every three or four months. I thought there would be more time, one more opportunity to speak to him in person.  Life has a funny way of pulling the proverbial rug from under you. Time was not on my side as I left messages for him and carried my cell phone with me everywhere just in case he called.  Finally I dreamt that I reached him and we chatted merrily in dreamscape. It was a lovely and delicious conversation and so very bittersweet.

So who am I to talk about celebrating life?  I feel it slipping it away from me every day.  I am on a life luge course barreling down to the finish line.

“Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers,
blossoming even as we gaze.”

I have friend who I have known since third grade. We share the same birth date, but she was born three hours before me and in Italy.  We went through puberty together and the angst of the teenage years. We have shared the joys and heartaches of dating, finding a job, losing our parents and finally settling down into what has become our life.  Despite our similar age and growing up in the same neighborhood we are different and distinct people. I was privileged to officiate at her stepdaughters wedding and just recently attended a party for her sixteen year old son. Now in our midlife we are experiencing the aches of pains of our ageing bodies. We have known each other long enough to view the long arch of life. 

A co-worker’s toddler son is quite a talker.  You can hear him chatting up and down the stairs.  He claps when he sees me.  We have practiced it together since he was one.  He is hungry for life, exploring, touching, and seeing all that it has to offer him.  His liveliness brings light and joy into a room.  No matter our moods, we come back to life when he is around.

“Sunrise, sunset, swiftly fly the years,
one season following another,
laden with happiness and tears.”

The tears are mixed with joy.  I lost a great friend.  Many people loved him.  He lived fully, deeply and was engaged in life in a way that can only inspire to achieve.  In the rush of life we can forget how we affect each other.  Our lives interlace in unexpected ways.

My childhood friend knew me as a scrawny and bespectacled shy little girl, now she knows me as a well-rounded woman with a more outgoing personality.  I knew of her desire to have a child and a well settled life.  We both have experienced sorrow but our joys are the things we share when get together.  We are connected by a strong bond of shared experiences.  This shared past helps us to create a shared future.

“What words of wisdom can I give them?
How can I help to ease their way?”

How can we celebrate life?  We want to live in the best way possible.  I don’t know many people who say, “I am going to just let life pass me by.” Whether it is a life of religious devotion, a family or a career, or all of the above, we do want it to be full and rich. I know I do.  Even as I sit in sadness and the anger of no second chances I have a glimmer of the greatest of life. Life has a grandeur that can’t be ignored.  It is a great arch that encompasses all things from my co-workers little boy, who is blossoming in the joy of living and the unexpected death of my friend.  It is this continuum that propels us to keep going with a beginning that has an end and then a new beginning… It is a tapestry, a woven richness of experiences, joys and sorrows.

The celebration begins today.  Right now. It can be done with large strokes of living boldly or in the simplest of ways.  Choose your way.  Engage in it fully. Let us celebrate life in each and every moment.  Do it now.

© Copyright 2008 Sandra Lee Schubert.  All Rights Reserved. 

Rev. Sandra Lee Schubert
Sandra Lee Schubert
s a creative vagabond, a poet, writer and dabbler in the arts. She co-facilitates the Wild Angels Poets and Writers group at the historic Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine.  She is also the creator of the e-course Writing for Life: Creating a Story of Your Own.  Visit her blog: www.writing4life.com



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