Last June I celebrated my 59th birthday and, as I began my 60th turn around the sun, I felt a need to be present to my life in ways that wouldn’t have made for interesting blog posts, or at least not in ways I wanted to explore in public.
I could say 60 is “just a number,” but I think it’s a number that represents a life shift and certainly signals a new decade is beginning, a kind of chronological beacon reminding me of life’s finitude.
I wanted to assess and set my course into “elderhood” with deliberate and authentic thought, rather than just allow my energy to drift into life’s next stage without purpose or clear intent.
I’ve made some decisions, set some demons running and made peace with others. I’ve gathered in joys, winnowed through relationships and sorted through possessions…I’m feeling lighter and clearer, but am mindful there are six months left to prepare for inaugurating my next decade, and whatever years I have left to “still become.” So, I continue to listen, sift, question, name and chart…
But it’s time for me to re-engage with sharing ideas and unveiling feelings and thoughts in my writing. I enjoy it and am ready to renew my practice.
The daily round has unfolded in darkness and light this past year, as it does every year; perhaps the darkness seems stronger and the blessings more precious because of the scrutiny I’ve brought to bear upon them, but I’m choosing to end the year on this, its holy and longest night, in gratitude and joy.
Despite the anger and violence that swirls through this old world and receives perhaps too much of our attention, I believe there so many, so very many reasons to be hopeful, to celebrate light and to share it, especially with the children inheriting what comes of our choices.
So on this Solstice Night leading to our great celebrations of Love’s rebirth, I choose to honor the light that has shone in my life and throughout the world this year, and pray that the New Year will be even brighter. How else can love set the world on fire but through our choices to share its light, moment by moment, day by day?
I’m grateful for those I love and with whom I celebrated some of my life’s milestones this past year.
I’m grateful for friends who share their arts with the world and surprise me with gifts.
I’m grateful for companions who share my days and illuminate even the smallest moments with their spirits.
I’m grateful for my home and the gardens we’ve tended and the harvests we’ve enjoyed.
I’m grateful for the wild things who bless my life and teach me deep lessons about presence, coexistence, conservation and compassion.
I’m grateful for former students who check in and let me know how hard they’re working to tend their many gifts and keep the light shining.
I’m grateful for the many, many people I know or know about, who share their gifts, their energy, their arts, and their wealth with others, who speak truth to the cruel, the wasteful, the fearful, and the angry and so diminish their power.
I’m grateful for the children with whom I’m able to spend my days. They keep me young in spirit, creative, joyful, and ever hopeful.
And I am most grateful for a partner determined to be as honest and intentional on his path as he is in supporting my own journey. I’m especially grateful for the laughter we co-create.
May we light the fires of joy around us in the coming year; may we love wildly and laugh often; may we be quick to forgive, and to feed upon hope.
And may we be kind.
Blessings upon your gatherings, your partings, your celebrations, your prayers, and the creative use of your energy. And may your New Year be light-filled, delightful and joyful.