But as so often happens at this stage in life, the more I looked at the photo, the more I remembered everything that has happened since it was first taken. I was a first year seminarian at Union Theological Seminary in 1979. My young family was just about to leave with me for six months in San Jose, Costa Rica. In the 35 years since that time: my mother and two sisters have died, my two other sisters have been married, my brother was married, divorced and remarried, my own babies grew up, were married (with one divorce and remarriage) and we now have one grandson. My father finally left this home after 40+ years to live with my youngest sister, St. Laura, because of health issues. And the clan has had a variety of ups and downs. Here's what I was listening to at that stage of life...
The longer I reflected on this picture, the more I found myself thinking about the surprises life throws us. None of this is new, of course, and every family experiences it. But when I went back and found this picture of Clan Lumsden from about 1965, another rush of memories, hurts, promises and long forgotten innocence paid me a visit. Here we are seated on the front steps of the family home in Sudbury, MA with my grandparents. I was 12 and my youngest sister, Laura, had just been born (Linda is holding her in this picture.) I was just getting ready to start fighting with my parents about hair cuts,
fashion, music and politics although you could hardly guess from my well-defined preppie groove. It is sobering to note that only 4 of us in this picture are still among the living.
Here's what I was listening to back in those days and I couldn't get enough of this record back in the day.
Jump ahead to one last photo from 2014 as I am blessing my grandson at our church in Pittsfield, MA. It was a sweet and complicated day as I held Louie, shared the sacred prayers and remembered like it was yesterday when this was happening to his momma.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
I have no clear idea how any of this fits together except to say that I am glad to have been here for it all. And here's what I'm listening to today...