Laura Alary

Laura Alary

Writing stories that make us bigger on the inside

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Going in Circles

February 16, 2021

Going in circles is not generally considered a good thing. It suggests aimlessness—a kind of frantic spinning that goes nowhere. But some circles are purposeful.

My dad and I made this wooden puzzle ages ago. For years I used it to tell children the story of the liturgical year. We would take out the pieces, talk about what each special day meant, then see if we could put the whole thing back together, marveling at how we could keep travelling through those same days over and over, but find new things in them each time.

Tomorrow we follow the curve into the season of Lent.

For many years, that smudge of ash that marked the beginning of this season spoke to me of separation—the death that will one day divide me from all that is familiar and beloved.

But this year the ashes are whispering messages of belonging and oneness: the elements I share with the material world, the Mystery from which we all emerge and within which we live and breathe, and “the stars that blaze in our bones and the galaxies that spiral inside the smudge we bear.” (Jan Richardson, Circle of Grace)

We are all connected.

I have written three books which are meant to accompany children on their journey around the circle of the church year. Make Room is for Lent and Easter, Look! is for Advent and Christmas. In April they will be joined by their companion, Breathe: A Child’s Guide to Ascension, Pentecost, and the Growing Time (Paraclete Press). I hope you will join me around the circle.

Here is a link to to learn more about or preorder Breathe:

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