When I close my eyes I feel the same, certainly not 55, or even 45, or 35…I feel like me. Like I’ve always felt. The passage of time is a slippery illusion, for we know that the all-present “now” is what really exists. It’s all that has ever existed. Yet, life has housed me in a body that has somehow been snared by gravity, time’s very real shadow.
Simply put, our bodies were born to die, hence the crow’s feet perched at the corners of my smiling eyes, the stiffness in my knees, and my aversion to amusement park rides that spin…I still love rollercoasters!
Of course why we die is a great mystery to be revealed once we arrive on the other side of the invisible curtain, so while we’re here we philosophize, taking studied guesses at where we’ve come from and where we’re going.
I started where life birthed me, with all the blessings and nightmares of a classic novel, and I moved forward, one blood-churning step at a time. It all seemed so difficult back then, yet there was undeniable beauty there too; breath hitching, all encompassing, nail biting, rapturous beauty. And here I am now, with my life etched on my heart, the hieroglyphics of Leah, the story of a girl, now a woman, but with that same girl’s heart, still walking that bridge through the fog, not knowing what lies on the other side, yet migrating forward under life’s curious spell.
But today is my birthday; a personal holiday of sorts, invented by someone with a cake addiction and an obsession with age. My birthday supposedly marks the passage of time that I’ve spent walking this planet. I feel as though I’m about two thirds of the way over the bridge. Where I’ve been seems so irrelevant to me now, like last Tuesday’s lunch…who can even remember? It’s where I’m going that seems to matter the most to me.
I’m grateful for feet that love to dance, and bifocaled eyes, eager to witness the unfolding of another year. In spite of what our youth-worshipping culture may believe, I still hunger for more of everything: love, adventure, laughter, and knowledge. Age doesn’t dim the light within; it makes life’s rewards so much richer.
I didn’t invent birthdays. Actually, I’d rather forget about marking my years like an old dog peeing on a tree, and if it weren’t culturally expected of me I’d hide in my room until the day was over. Okay, enough of the curmudgeon routine, who am I kidding…I’m a sucker for cake and presents! With that said, Happy Birthday to me! (Donning pointy party hat and blowing feathered noisemaker) It’s my birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The sky is changing moods, blowing calm white rivers into currents over blue, swirling into deep pools, rising against thunderous cliffs and sending the sun into exile.
But I have a mind to; for the wind is stirring the leaves, who thought their days had ended, yet now they believe themselves to be birds with pointed wings and focused beaks, slicing through the air like eager messengers bound to tell the tales of love.
I long to keep up with them.
But no, I reserve my energy, and watch, as my irrepressible soul twirls down the middle of the road, met by a partner who knows my steps and takes me there.
The world is watching, but no one sees, as I follow barefoot and alive.
Heaven graces us with a tango, bequeathed by wasted poets, teased by love’s eternal flame.
Dip me now my darling; kiss the white line of my neck.
Your face is masked; your soul stirs me.
Leave me when the morning sings and evening takes his final bow.