Lessons from a ‘Lion King’
July 23, 2010
When I used to watch “Lion King” with the girls I thought the “Circle of Life” scene was the corniest part of the show.
What a callous cad I was. And, I should have know better.
Growing up on a farm, I should have been more in touch with the whole “seeds have to die and give up their natural state to provide life for a new plant” scenario. In the past several years, there have been numerous occasions to observe the cycle of human life and how much of life is just that, a cycle.
This past week, our family made its annual trek to my family roots in Kansas. That trip involves a drive through 500 miles of God’s little green patch or the most God-forsaken terrain on this planet (depending on your perspective). Most of the input I receive from those of you who travel that 500 miles indicates there are more people who select Option B.
My wife and I made the trip with our oldest daughter and her two young sons (23 months and one month). The bottom line is they did remarkably well. There were moments, however, when the subtle joys of a 10-hour journey through featureless terrain while bound in a carseat escaped the comprehension of 23-month-old Silas.
Even one-month old Jaxson, who slept most of the way, finally had enough of being confined to his little nest of a carseat.
My daughter worried that their occasional wails, pleas for “help” and “out” were testing our patience. Those of you who have grandkids know, of course, that your little angels, can do no wrong. Well, neither can ours. I must admit to several melancholy memories about our daughter when she was that age and how she was now taking on the responsibility that was once ours.
When we arrived at my mom’s place, Silas had more than enough energy to burn, so he and I circled the complex (about half-a-mile) twice. There were enough residences and staff members still enjoying the cool evening breeze (I am in the God’s little green patch group – see above) that Silas had a very appreciative audience.
It was another poignant moment of watching people on opposite ends of the life-cycle spectrum. Silas – with so much energy – and the residents of the village – with so much wisdom. Life is really a journey that graphs the ebb and flow and progression of those two factors.
The most emotional part of the trip is, of course, seeing my mom again and observing the changes in her life since my dad passed away last fall. She continues to adapt to losing somebody she knew for 80 years and was married to for more than 60 years. She says that when she comes up against a problem (like getting something off the top shelf) she still finds herself thinking she will ask for help when Dad comes home.
Though her memory is still pretty good, some things are repeated numerous times. Tasks that are habitual come easy, while a sudden change in plans causes much consternation. The old adage that our parents come to need the type of care that we give our children can be observed in progress in our family.
The circle of life is more than a song from Mustafa to his lion cub, who would someday become king. It is journey that we each travel every day.