One of my father’s favorite songs is “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” and Johnny Cash was one of his most admired singer/songwriters. View the YouTube video here:
Circles – we see them everywhere. Wedding rings are circular, and symbolize the never-ending love between husband and wife. Sadly, those vows are often broken, some statistics showing more than 50 percent these days, leaving people to ponder “what went wrong?” Sometimes we drive in circles, wondering “where are we going?!” Cookies, Frisbees, plates, the sun, and a full moon are all circular. Will those be “unbroken?” Well, plates break, cookies crumble, and Frisbees get lost. Moons are not always full. The sun – well, so far, it’s still round, though invisible during rain and snowstorms!
We often speak about things coming “full circle.” I believe that happens, especially in relationships. I have a friendship that splintered more than 10 years ago, but was reclaimed like a valuable gem about four years ago … and I’m grateful. My husband lost his father last month, just a few weeks after each rounded another year on the calendar and became another year older. Their relationship has always been tightly-knit. Greg misses his dad a lot, yet his faith remains strong that the “circle will be unbroken,” that he will see his dad again when it’s his turn to be called Heavenward.
My writing career seems to be coming “full circle” as well. For the past few years I’ve served as Administrative Assistant for Wyoming Writers, Inc., the Wyoming writers’ organization in which I’ve been involved since the publication of my first book back in 2007. I’m stepping down from that position effective June 30th (fiscal year) so I can concentrate more on writing and expanding my freelance career. Since I’ve made that decision, I’ve learned that a story I submitted in January to Chicken Soup for the Soul may be published in an upcoming dog book, I’ve secured two more magazine writing opportunities, and I may be sending my pet column to another newspaper … and writing for some of the special editions the company creates. Like the round sun thawing the frozen Wyoming landscape, these writing opportunities have enriched the soil of my heart. Since 2007, when I left a good-paying government job to pursue authorship, my writing horizon has expanded. I’ve attended conferences, met other writers, attempted and failed, felt joy and sorrow, pursued opportunities and nearly given up. All wove (and are still weaving) together, coming full circle. Will the circle be unbroken? Well, I am still endeavoring – the circle of my writing life is still intact … and I desire it to remain so for many years.
A circle is unending – the words I write and that are published online, in magazines, in books, and through newspapers can last forever … and impact lives now and into the future. Therefore, I choose words that encourage and inspire, with hopes that circle will never be broken … just as I hope my relationships with people I care about – friends, family, fellow writers – will also be unbroken. And, when those relationships are slightly askew, my hope is they will be mended with words of love, kindness, forgiveness, and encouragement. May my circles of influence, in career and relationships, be unbroken … and yours as well, my friends!
Gayle M. Irwin is writer, author and speaker. She is the author of several inspiring dog books for children and adults, including Sage Learns to Share, Sage’s Big Adventure, Walking in Trust: Lessons Learned with My Blind Dog, and Devotions for Dog Lovers: Paws-ing for Time with God. She is also a contributing writer to editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul, to articles in Creation Illustrated and Our Town Casper magazine, as well as the Casper Journal and River Press newspapers. Learn more at www.gaylemirwin.com.