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Closing the Circle


I walk with someone who has an apple watch, and she monitors her time by “closing the circle” on an app. There are colorful concentric circles that slowly meet and when that happens, she knows she has met her goal. I don’t have that app but enjoy those circles and vicariously meet my walking goal too.


As we approach the end of 2020, I think about that. About the colorful concentric circles slowly meeting and walking as that happens through different trails around Cleveland. Each walk has its challenges, but all have a beauty that surpasses whatever those challenges may be. Some have steep inclines and others fallen trees in the path. Others are straight but rocky. As the year progressed, snow and mud and ice added to the challenges. But this never took away from the beauty of the woods, it only added to it. Skies that were hidden by leaves could now be seen through skeletal trees. Snow that covered the city transformed this starkness to breathtaking vistas. The walks were often harder, but always worth the effort.


This year has been challenging and confusing and often painful. Would we have a job? Would our government help us and if so how? When? And the most important question, will our loved ones survive this cruel virus?


But there has been beauty and goodness too. People who stepped up to help each other personally and as a community. Businesses that struggled to stay open not just for themselves but for their employees and customers. Cashiers in grocery stores who worked all year even when there were no masks or plexiglass. And we all learned to smile with our eyes over the masks and connect with our elbows.

This year’s concentric circles did not just close, they reopened and expanded and continued to circle as we embraced each other in any way we could. Apps are fun but we do not need them to keep us going - we have each other.





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