Not too different from the way planets and moons follow their orbital paths, it becomes apparent as we age that we move through life in patterns that are familiar. If we pay attention, we can see our own growth in a moment of deja vu.
Today, I walked past what used to be Mort’s Trophy shop on Davie Street. Back in the 1980’s, I was hired by Mort – it was my first job. I was an engraver, using a very early version of a computer to set and print engraved plates. I was a terrible employee. One day, he walked into his secretary’s office with a customer and discovered me asleep under the desk. (His secretary was out that day … and I was apparently very tired because of my late night antics.) He didn’t fire me but we were both pretty mortified. (Get it? Mort and I were mortified!)
Adjacent to Mort’s was a Firestone station. I remember walking to work and being recognized by people in that parking lot as one of the performers at Fevers nightclub from the previous weekend performance. It felt good. That work (singing and playing keyboard in a local band) suited me better but I wasn’t making money doing it. So, I played music at night and worked at Mort’s during the day.
Both Mort’s and the Firestone station are being renovated now. They’re fenced off and being reimagined into something I can’t see yet.
I couldn’t help but remember my 18 year old self as I walked past – and to recognize all the ways I too have changed since my life’s orbit took me through that particular place. Like a mother to a daughter, I regarded that young girl with love and grace and gave her a big maternal hug and told her how proud I am of how very much she has grown into more of her intended heavenly design. I laughed at the memory of sleeping under Hilda’s desk at Mort’s. And my 18 year old self marveled with proud excitement as I recounted the orbital path between then and now.
I’m inspired tonight as I look forward to the possibility of another encounter a few decades in the future between some forgotten version of myself and my future self. “Being made whole” is the name I assigned to my ministry and I think I understand why a little better tonight.