“The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” ~ Madeleine L’Engle
Birthdays are often a time of reflection and it seems that this one, for me, is even more so. I cannot offer a definitive reason why … maybe it’s the stars or the moon, or the spirit of the Mountain here. Or perhaps simply a recognition of the years passing, as I leaf through the pages of datebooks and journals … a concession to the shorter time left ahead, compared to what has already gone by. I do not know. I only know these last few weeks have brought an undercurrent of drifting, sometimes swirling, emotion; decades of memories sweeping through me … pirouetting, stage right to stage left, on silent silk slippers as I watch. I have had an incredible life … a life that has gone from abuse and abandonment, and struggling alone to understand and overcome certain genetic crap-shot “glitches” … to peace, forgiveness, acknowledgement and deep soul gratification. I have driven hundreds of thousands of miles, exploring and “discovering” this amazing country … from the dense and loamy eastern forests, to craggy granite mountains and the red high desert mesas of the west. From sea to shining sea, quite literally. I have experienced so much – from the highest of the highs, to the lowest moments, tumbling down a seemingly bottomless pit of despair. I have been hungry; and cold, wet and homeless. I have been beaten and bullied; raped, bruised and broken. I have struggled with Aspergers (long before it was known as a ‘thing’) and mild dyslexia, along with a few physical challenges. I was legally emancipated at 16 and never had the chance to go to college or university, later battling employers’ prejudice that lack brought on.
And … I have loved and been loved deeply. I have been hugged and held and rocked to sleep. I have been bathed and perfumed. I have friends and laughter, music to dance to, sunrises and sunsets – and all of the hours in-between – to celebrate every day. I have a roof over my head, chairs to sit in, books to read, and food that both my mouth and belly smile at receiving. I have a warm bed to sleep in, warm clothes to wrap myself in, warm towels to dry myself.
Yet as I look back over these last decades of this journey, I know there is still so much more to come. More laughter, more dances, more joy. More sights to see and sunrises to watch. More chocolate to savour, more wine to drink. More stars to watch and moons to howl with. More kisses to be kissed … ahhhh …. and more love to be made. More datebooks and journals to be filled.
A page is turned, not to be forgotten; the pencil is sharp, another page begins on Friday………