Reading Time: 2 minutes
[For Cathy and Judy, and all the Crows of the present and past]
Rondo: [according to oxforddictionaries.com]:
“A musical form with a recurring leading theme, often found in the final movement of a sonata or concerto.”
A rondo’s form is comprised of a refrain that is repeated between other melodic material, called “episodes”
Its form is often A B A C A
Every summer, my family descends upon a wonderful little barrier island in North Carolina called Emerald Isle. Scads of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents gather together to relax and enjoy each other’s company. The days stretch as long and as wide as the sugary sands of the beach. The nights are filled with delicious seafood, competitive games (Scrabble and Poker are favorites), and endless conversations, all accompanied by the soundtrack of rushing surf. This year was no exception. It was lovely to see everyone and to see how their children progress, seemingly overnight, from toddling babies into willowy teenagers.
One morning as I sat in my beach chair chatting with my cousin, Tracy, I saw her watching her little boy dig busily in the sand beside my teenaged son (Shelby) and my husband (Doug). “Look at them,” she said, grinning. “You know, I remember being little and Doug digging big holes in the sand for us. Then, when I got older, I remember playing with Shelby when he was a tiny little boy…” She paused and laughed. “Now, Shelby is playing with my little one! Isn’t it amazing?” I agreed. It IS amazing to watch time wash by and, wave by wave, gradually alter the coast-line of our lives. It’s a cycle that is still miraculous to me.
What also continues to astound me is to watch my nieces and nephews as they have children. These kids (so they’re in their twenties—they’re still frozen in time for me as kids) whom I babysat and diapered are now having babies of their own. “The Kids Table” at which all the nieces and nephews gathered together to enjoy raucous meal times has become “The Second Adult Table.” We will need to buy another “Kids Table” to accommodate the new little beach combers that keep appearing. Our hearts are as full as our beach house now!
The celebration of new little ones is tinged with a bit of sadness, too, because we remember that not all of our family members are present each year. Some live too far away to come regularly; some have other commitments; and some are no longer with us. It is this dichotomy we have come to take part in every year—the predictable “sameness” of the location and the traditions we uphold, juxtaposed by the constant change of new and aging faces. The absent faces may not be here, but they live on through the stories we re-tell about them every year.
I am already counting the days until next summer…
Precious soul, do not delay
Embark on the wondrous journey
To the sea of meaning!
Remember, you have passed through many stages
Do not resist, surrender to the journey.
Wash your wings from the earth’s clay
And follow the trail of those before you.
Do not linger in the potter’s shop
Break the jug and flow with the stream of life.
Rush down from the mountain to the sea
For the mountain offers no refuge.
Do not wander east or west
Aim straight at the sun!
From its light, like the moon,
You will sometimes be a crescent
And sometimes full. [p. 42]
From Rumi’s Little Book of Life: The Garden of the Soul the Heart and the Spirit. Translated by Maryam Mafi and Azima Melita Kolin. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing, 2012. Given to me by my dearest of friends, Kari Skipper.