Fractal - a curve or geometric figure, each part of which has the same statistical character as the whole. Fractals are useful in modeling structures (such as eroded coastlines or snowflakes) in which similar patterns recur at progressively smaller scales. (Google definition).
Start a challenging task, struggle, complete, celebrate, start anew. Our family life contains this pattern, repeated at both the macro- and micro- levels in a kaleidoscope pattern run amok. In May, specifically, we danced through a confetti pattern of completed major efforts on both grand and smaller scales. For instance, we celebrated high school graduation for Aden, sharing in our joy with Bill and Connie, Sean and Carol, who all came to visit from the Midwest. A snowfall the day before graduation combined with plummeting temperatures threatened to blow us off course, but with much shoveling on the part of the district, and many warm clothes on the part of graduate guests, we triumphed. The colors that day were high school royal blue and red, mottled with the grey of the sky and the white drifts of snow on the football field.
We celebrated further with a joint graduation party due largely to the generosity and planning of Aden's friend Hannah and her family. It was rewarding and emotional to see so many neighborhood friends that day. Many of their sons or daughters graduated with Aden, and since we have had the luxury and privilege of living in the same house for almost fifteen years, our bonds with friends here means that each Willow Creek name called out at graduation resonated and sparked both joy and sorrow for time's rapid passage. Colors there were black and red for Hannah's college of Northeastern and black with gold for Aden's new journey at CU.
On a slightly smaller scale we rejoiced with William and his high school swim team as they marked a win at the boys' state championships (the first such win in twenty-five years). After months of two-a-days and exhaustion, fluctuating times and minor health crises, it was awe-inspiring to see the team pull out amazing performances and win all of the relays as well as place many individuals in finals. William didn't have his best meet but delighted in cheering for teammates and sharing in the celebration. His goal is to produce points next year as they pursue a repeat. The boys were resplendent in their bleached blonde hair and royal blue and white jerseys, happy faces and fist thrusts of muscled and shaved arms.
We then embarked on an eight-day tour of the United Kingdom which contained extended stays in London and Edinburgh and a brief stop in York. On vacation, each day contained the smaller fractal of effort, completion, reward and celebration, as we struggled to revise and follow an itinerary, find our way via underground or walking the city streets, eat food both affordable and allergen-free, and then stagger back to our room (s) at night, exhausted but still too jet-lagged to sleep through the night. Many smaller patterns with a mix of many different greys (rain, streets, rivers, old buildings) blue for the sky in London, green for the countryside as seen by the train, black for umbrellas and a rainbow of flowers in the late-May gardens. More on the trip in the next post.
For now we rest. Our photo galleries of the last few weeks startle me as I flash review all of the events that occurred, the people we saw and shared good times with, and the amount of effort that went into the triumphs. The rest will be brief, for new journeys start soon, but we will sweep up the confetti, take down the signs and mail the thank you notes, tying up the last loose ends of our magnificent May.