by Dave Thornhill

Flickering orange and red sparks, entangled with sharp blue and smoky cracks of tamarack, cast shadows across the faces of guys lost in thought. The question pondered, less important than the time and place and experience of the eight or so men gathered sporadically around the fire pit. Mountain stars stare down through chilly air anticipating the coming epiphany.
In another place, at a similar time, a family gathers around a twilight-draped dinner table, sharing stories of the day: frustrating budget meetings, high school cafeteria hysterics, and doctor visits with pleasant news. Sharing fears and future plans and French fries. Connecting.
Circles. Some of life’s most important moments come when we’re gathered around. Campfires and kitchen tables; boardrooms and small groups. Game night. The Last Supper. Imagine the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Straight Line. No, they knew the value of looking in; focusing on each other. United.
Much of life is done in a line. Movies, sporting arenas, church. We arrive with friends, stand in lines, sit in long rows, and clumsily try to correlate the experience on the way to the car; to the next linear event. Living in queues limits our experience to just the adjacent few; gathering around extends, reaches out, and seeks more. It builds relationships. 
We desire friends and unity and shared experiences; the collective wisdom of a thoughtful gathering. May we seek to create circles where lines otherwise govern our lives.

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