The Circle of Life in two days

In the movie, The Lion King, Rafiki, the shaman baboon blesses Simba, the young son of Mufasa, the king of the Pride Lands, and holds him up high on Pride Rock so that the elephants, giraffes, birds and other animals can see. As Simba grows, Mufasa teaches him about the importance of the Circle of Life and how every living thing exists as part of a delicate balance. This past weekend I couldn’t help but think about Rafiki and Mufasa as my wife and I celebrated our own miniature version of the Circle of Life, including life and death and a few parts in between.

The circle begins

We went from celebrating a surprise 60th birthday Friday night for a close family member. There were balloons and cake and it was fun to see family and friends. As we raced back home, my wife and I were both thankful that we’re within a few hours of our family and that we get to celebrate with them.

We hurried home so that we could spend time Saturday evening with neighbors and enjoy a wine and cookie night. I was convinced that my wife and my cheesecake cookies and sweet red wine combination would win the prize for best pairing. However, we were there only a short while, when another neighbor called us in panic. His wife had to go to the hospital and he needed help. He didn’t need just any help. He needed us to watch his one-and-a-half-year-old son. Uh-oh!

Our neighbor didn’t think he would be at the hospital long, he just needed to drop some things off for his wife. He had done the hard work, he had put his son down for the night and was fast asleep. We just needed us to stand watch in case his son woke up.

We haven’t had to care for a baby in close to twenty years, but my wife was in heaven. She kept vigil over the baby monitor watching his every move in the crib like a loving mother bird. (And boy have baby monitors come a long way. Our baby monitor back in the day was like a bad walkie-talkie, half the time you picked up conversations from two houses down. This thing was an actual video monitor. I couldn’t help but just stare at the baby thinking about how cool it would’ve been to have one of those.) 

When it looked like the baby had rolled onto its stomach, my wife sprung into action. She raced up the stairs and tip-toed into the room to check on him. Of course, he was fine, he wasn’t actually on his stomach. If you ask me, though, I’m pretty sure my wife was hoping for the chance to cuddle the baby. 

The rest of the night was uneventful. Oh, I made a new friend with our neighbor’s German Shepherd. At first, she looked like she wanted to take a big bite out of me and I mean a really big bite, but she soon became my best friend in the world. Fortunately, our neighbor was home within an hour or two. No word yet on his wife. She was feeling better, but needed to stay for tests.

The journey comes to an end

When Sunday came, we got to see the other side of things. We went to a viewing for a friend’s wife who passed away after a battle with cancer. The woman had lived a long life, but it still felt sad to see the family circle around the casket. I didn’t know the woman well, but she and her husband had been kind to us when we were young parents and weren’t sure if we were coming or going. She constantly reassured us that we’d figure things out and find our way, and sure enough, we did.  

In Lion King, when an animals dies, it is said that they have completed their journey in the Circle of Life. I can’t speak about balance and our interconnectedness, but the longer I live, the more convinced I’ve become that life is a glorious, crazy thing. I’ve come to believe that you hold tight to the people you love; tell them what they mean to you; be appreciative of your blessings; and stay resilient and flexible, because you never know where the ball is going to land.

Yes, life is a crazy, beautiful thing. 


Thank you for reading. Please follow the HoTM site and join in on the discussion. I’d love to hear your thoughts. In addition, please visit my personal blog at or follow me on Instagram at @writingfromtheheartwithbrian.

All the best, Brian.

Images by Pexels.

27 thoughts on “The Circle of Life in two days

  1. The circle of life reminds me of a merry-go-round—some of life is merry, some not. The ride brings us joy, heartache, laughter, sadness, and everything in between. I just saw a meme that pretty much sums it all up: “Not all storms come to disrupt your life. Some come to clear your path.” Happy or sad, it’s all a part of life—opportunity to learn, grow, laugh, love and become the best of ourselves that we can possibly be. What a journey!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. What a great meme/saying. As I was reading the post, it reminded me of the beginning of one of Ursula Le Guin’s quotes/poems “Only in silence the word,
      Only in dark the light,
      Only in dying life:”
      Maybe the sadness is needed to appreciate happiness?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh wow, I’ve been thinking about Julia’s meme too. Love the idea of storm clearing a path. Like Ursula Le Guin’s poem. Thanks so much EW for passing along … I need to think about your last sentence some, maybe blog about it sometime in the future. I know I’m much appreciative of certain experiences and things because i experienced sadness or went without. As you write, maybe it helps us!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree with Dr. Stein…that last paragraph. Wow. And what Julia shared — about storms clearing a path? Beautiful. Thank you for sharing, Brian. What an intense couple of days for you and your wife. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Wynne and I were just discussing that yesterday — how hard it can be to write in advance…when something comes up that’s more potent and you need to ‘write it out’. I hear you about that — and you did a beautiful job following your heart and head in sharing a powerful story with us. Thank you, Brian! 💖

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I somehow have a few extra blogs stockpiled right now. I’m not sure how that happened and may actually post an extra one this week. I try to write ahead for HoTM. A silly fear, but I don’t want to hold you guys up or not post. This one though just sort of wrote itself. Came tougher easy Sunday night.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s rare that we experience new life and death in such close proximity, so I love that you’ve taken the opportunity to look them together in the larger context, especially with reference to The Lion King. 😊 As Dr. Stein and Vicki said, your final paragraph hit the nail on the head. Life is, indeed, a crazy, beautiful thing!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. It sounds like you and your wife were exactly where you needed to be for many people including yourselves over this whirlwind weekend. Even with the highs and lows you were able to share and give in real ways with everyone Brian. You both rolled with what came your way, even having no idea “where the ball is going to land” and clearly did a great job!

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Oh yeah – that technology has totally changed but clearly all you need is a big heart! You had me laughing about your walkie talkie monitor that picked up conversations from a couple houses down. They now have tech to put under the mattress that will sound the alarm if the baby is too still.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful post, Brian! Not only is the circle of life amazing, but it’s more fascinating when you see it all in close connection like this. Makes you think everything aligned “just so” for a reason this past weekend. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

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