Just arrived back from San Antonio, TX after viewing the celestial Annular Solar Eclipse.
As a coach, this trip was meaningful as it was also a gathering of a few alumni from the early ‘90s when I coached at Northern Illinois University.
The typical banter of glory days ensued and the common theme of gratitude rushed through me. How can such vivid memories from 30 years ago bring so much joy into the room?
Appearances and obvious changes in physical abilities were the butt of many jokes. At one point, imagine, four 50+ year-olds getting out of a vehicle and all you can hear is grunts and groans — no one in conversation — only to bust out laughing realizing we have arrived to that stage in life!
With families in tow, the gratitude overflowed when I witnessed one alum FaceTiming his son back home in Colorado whilst another alum who was driving, mentally scrambling amongst his three daughters (one of each in H.S., JH and elementary) — all of us in the same car!
Observing these alums, who at one time had their moments that I could describe as parallel to the behaviors of their own kids, brought that extra feeling that my heart was full.
Hints of disciplining, taking moments to be personal and understanding, encouraging cooperation, etc. All full circle to this elder in the group who was their former coach 30 years ago.
As an extra reward from the universe, I found myself conversing with the eldest child in the car who happened to mention seeing a Broadway musical — hello… open door to connect!
So the banter in the car became dominated by this elder and a youngster who are 40 years apart in age, raving about different musicals and favorite songs/moments. I was ready to gift tickets to this young lady to see a show she has been wanting to see that I have already seen twice. What a great-uncle moment! From typical teen introversion within a group of adults, suddenly she came out of her shell with full on expression. As a coach, those moments when you see the switch flip… full heart…
I took the time to send pics and texts to other alums from that same generation met with spirited responses.
Then my gratitude began to feel exponential as I thought about the other alums from that same program of 8 years, then add alumni from the various other programs, teams and staffers that have come through that I have this same connection with.
As one of the most optimistic friends in my circle has recently said to me, “How lucky are we?”…
To know that these bonds can be achieved, I am thankful to experience a full heart and come full circle with so many.
And now to reflect on this visit to another state just to see the “Ring of Fire”, coming Full Circle just feels… Celestial…