A 74th Birthday
Man struggles to find life outside himself, unaware that the life he is seeking is within him. Kahlil Gabran
Everyone asks me what I’m doing today on my birthday. In the past, my natal day would be a flurry of activity. I often looked to others for attention and celebration. I decided this morning to ask for nothing, but to fill my own cup.
I’m choosing to spend the day doing things I usually do and savoring them. I just put in a load of laundry and I’m sweeping and tidying up (while dancing to Bruno Mars) before I head out to walk my dog along the tidal marsh. A regular day, routine chores, simple pleasures. Blessedly normal; blessedly joyful.
In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “Living is so dear.”
I will take moments throughout the day to remember that this day will never come again; life is a mysterious gift, and time is limited. From the book Zorba the Greek by Nikos Katantzakis: “Zorba came upon an old man planting an apricot seedling and asked why he, an old man, was planting a new tree. ‘I live as though I would never die,’ was his reply. ‘And me, I live as though I might die tomorrow,’ said Zorba, ‘which one of us is right?’ ”
Today, I will take time to enjoy a walk in the shade of tall trees. I will plant colorful spring flowers in clay pots. I will be glad for all I have and don’t have. I will talk to angels and ancestors. I will keep my heart wide open. I will be gentle with my soul.
Later, after dinner with friends, when the pings and dings of facebook and texts die down, I will take a deep breath and say thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for this glorious day.