For the First Time

I’ve been thinking about time, and how the same period of time can seem both short and long.  In preparation for the congregation’s annual meeting on Sunday, I have been writing my annual report.  This has quite naturally inspired some reflection on my first year in Orlando.  At some points, I wondered how it could be only a year.  So much has happened.  And then, at other points, I have wondered how I can have been here a whole year and still have so much to learn.

Perspective is an amazing thing.  People, events, and even places that seemed big when I first arrived have, over time, taken their natural place in a broader picture.  For example, as I drove past a particular store yesterday, I had a memory of learning of its existence and thinking it was a long way from our home.  Now that I know my way around, it’s really just around the corner.

It is strange to think that a few years from now, I will look back on my current understanding of people, events, and things, and see how limited my current view is.  Sure there are things I can do to broaden my perspective more quickly, but there are also things that will just take time.

T. S. Eliot wrote, “We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

Charlie and I love to go exploring.  That has made our last several years of frequent moves a great adventure.  Now, as we continue the process of settling into this new place, we are finding new adventures in really getting to know this place and its people.  Back and forth we vacillate between feeling new and feeling settled.   This is the natural state of things.  I look forward to doing this over and over again, each time knowing this place and these people once again for the first time.

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