Life is a Cycle…Or is it a Recycle?

I need to preface my first recycling experience by taking you back to the year 1975. I played the piano for my church youth choir. One of the Sundays I was playing, the minister was performing a baptism. It just so happened to be for the son of my geometry teacher—no pressure there! I was asked by the choir director to play an interlude during the ceremony after the minister said, “Let us pray.” However, I misunderstood the instructions for when I was to begin playing. I had made a mental note to begin after he said the first, “Let us  pray.” In actuality, she had said I was to begin after the second, “Let us pray.” Are you following? So, after the first, “Let us pray,” I began playing a soft little tune. However, it was v..e..r..y…bad timing for a melodic interruption. The choir director turned toward me with her hand out and said quietly, but with a definite firm tone, “Stop right there.” Soooo…..I invented a chord that would have made Bach roll over in his grave and ended the catastrophe. Through the years, when my embarrassing goof up fleetingly crossed my mind, I would cringe. I am glad to be able to say that he is now a respected doctor. What a relief it is to know that my musical mishap did not jinx his future. Whew!

Now, let’s fast forward to Sunday, October 25, 2009…35 years after my musical mess. I went to Elkin to celebrate my mother’s birthday and to go to church with her. As I was reading the bulletin before the service began, I noticed that there was to be a baptism that day for a doctor’s son. Have you figured it out yet? I sat there in disbelief as I witnessed the baptism being performed on the baby son of the man whose baptism I had messed up…oh so many years before. I told him about it after the service and we had a nice laugh. Ahhh…the beauty of the recycling of life…

The next recycling of life event happened when I was doing a book signing at Cherries in Clemmons, N.C. A lady came over and asked me to tell her about my books. She was with her teen-aged grandchildren. I dedicated my first children’s book, The Everlasting Snowman, to my father following his death as a gentle explanation for children about the natural cycle of life.  The lady happened to mention that she had briefly lived in Elkin. I said, “Well, I grew up there!” As she was looking through The Everlasting Snowman, she glanced up at me and asked me my name. After I told her, a stunned expression came over her face and her eyes were flooded with tears. She said, as she was pointing towards her grandkids, “Your father delivered my daughter—their mom!” I got goose bumps and the concept of the recycling of life was confirmed once again.

Now to round out this recycling concept in this jam packed period, I have one more story to prove the point. Let me preface this story by saying that I was a student at Meredith College in Raleigh from 1976-1980. My friends and I spent countless hours in the cafeteria eating, laughing and continually catching up on each others lives. Now, let’s recycle forward to the present time period.  My son enjoyed the life of a NC State student. I received a text message from him his freshman year simply saying, “I just left Meredith. I was doing the salsa in the cafeteria!” It was the strangest feeling that 30 some years later, my son was dancing in the cafeteria that had once hosted my friends and me on a daily basis—proof of the great recycling of life. I suppose, the only residual question is, “Why was he doing the salsa in the Meredith cafeteria?” The answer may be fodder for another column. I’ll keep you posted…

Hunter Darden-personalized copies of my books may be ordered by scrolling to the top of the page and clicking on the link or email me at


About Hunter

Hunter has been living her dream of being an author after falling in love with the Nancy Drew Mysteries in the fourth grade. She has incorporated her love for words along with her psychology degree from Meredith College to create books that can be aids in healthy nourishment for the mind. She is the author of five children's books, a photography book and a novel. She has been a human interest columnist for The Charlotte Observer (2001-2005) as well. She was the recipient of the "50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading" by The Author's Show, the Meredith College Career Achievement Alumnae Award and the Excellence in Creative Writing Award by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. She is a public speaker and teaches a writing camp for kids called Writer's Cramp Camp. (The animated art on this blog is provided by
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