It was a special birthday, so many friends and well wishers gathered to mark the occasion. Service and Commitment were first on the scene to get everything ready. Generosity took care of the catering. Inspiration provided music. Patience said she’d clean up afterwards, and Persistence made sure everyone was notified about the party. The room they were in was just the right temperature, and decked with colourful balloons, wonderful toys and intriguing books, kindly supplied by Memory.
Soon Compassion arrived, bearing flowers and those deep questions of hers that both demonstrated and paved the way for love. Clarity brought candles, videos, and the necessary hush so everyone could be heard. Many old friends got reacquainted, awkwardly at first and then with greater warmth. Purpose embraced Joy, who brought her two children: Daring and Dreaming. Regret caught up with Learning and Maturity. Imagination and Discipline promised to keep in touch more often. And when the old photos, stories and jokes were shared around, even Duty and Pride could not help but laugh.
Presently, everyone noticed their host in the room, looking as rosy as ever and none the worse for his age except a few strands of grey and a slight paunch. A fine mentor, he had taught everyone the difference between “I” and “We”, and how “Them” becomes “Us”. Then all the gathered friends sat in a circle, raised their glasses and toasted the one whose presence, sympathy and quiet advice had meant so much over the years: the one they all knew as Community.