Life’s Little Landmarks

Sometime in the last several weeks, an invisible line on the calendar was crossed. The exact date was hard enough to pinpoint that I failed to mark it down and note it as it passed by, but with July over I can say for sure: I have now lived in Beverly for longer than any other place in my adult life. It’s been only a tenth-or-so of my actual lifetime, an infinitesimal fragment measured against the arc of history. And though there have been telling signs of my acclimation to this particular place – I’ve grown accustomed to allowing the first car to turn left before taking the right of way at a green light, for instance – I know I remain a relative newcomer. Still, when I think of home, this is it.

Through culture and tradition, we are trained to mark a certain small set of points in life: births, weddings, and the anniversaries of each; graduations, and certain birthdays that carry additional rights and privileges. As nations, townships and other groupings we celebrate holidays both sacred and secular. But how many personal, particular, intimate milestones do we accumulate in our living? The day you become older than your mother was when you were born. The point at which you and your partner have been together longer than you’ve been apart. The anniversary of the day you started your first job, got in that terrible accident, or joined your congregation. Life is made up of moments like these; we are constantly crossing the boundaries of time. Each moment is further away from some things than you have ever been before, and closer to other things as well. Alice in Wonderland taught us that we have 364 un-birthdays each year: what would it be like to celebrate each one?

I ask only half in jest. I’m the sort of person who likes to take a break between big events, to make sure I have time to recoup and regroup. I don’t think I could sustain an endless party, and I wouldn’t want to try. But trying to note and appreciate just some of those personal landmarks along life’s path helps me to remember. I am not who I was a moment ago, nor who I will be in one moment’s time – I am simply the me of this particular now. And that me, this me,

Solution Overall in really this noticed no rosacea…

here and now, is responsible to all my past personae, and responsible for all my future selves.

“There’s still a little bit of summer left,” as George Costanza once said. So I invite you to use some free handful of moments in the next few weeks to take stock. What milestones are you approaching or leaving behind this month. What self is in the rearview, and what sort of person to you hope to glimpse ahead through the fogged-up windshield of your expectations? Mark the time, and note its passing. Remember who you have been so you can be who you are, and get on to the work of becoming…well, that’s up to you.


In Faith,

Rev. Kelly Weisman Asprooth-Jackson


First Parish Church

225 Cabot St

Beverly, MA 01915


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