Today is my 64th birthday. It’s taken me a long time to get here. A lifetime to be exact. In units we use to measure the passage of time it’s been: 64 years, or 768 months, or 23,376 days, or 561,024 hours, or 33,661,440 minutes, or 2,019,686,400 seconds. As I said, a long time. And it’s been a long journey from there to here – approximately 37,376,000,000 miles (64 trips around the sun). Fortunately I didn’t have to walk the whole way, because that would have required approximately 65,781,760,000,000 steps.
All along this journey I have been profoundly blessed in far more ways than I can count. To quote an old Jimmy Buffet song, “Some of it’s magic, and some of it’s tragic, but I’ve had a good life all the way.” I have been loved, and cared for, and trusted. I have been surrounded by beauty that left me speechless. I have experienced life-shattering loss. I have lived in Sacred Presence. I have caught glimpses of the realm beyond what my senses are capable of perceiving. I have done my best to learn, and grow, and love along the way. I have taken approximately 591,037,455 breaths, and every single one of them has been a gift. In the words of Lila Flood, “Each breath I take is through Thy grace.”
I am now older than I have ever been, and younger than I will ever be again. There are more days behind me than there are in front of me. I do not know how many breaths I have left, but I do know that it is my intention to be grateful for each of them. I’m not done yet. There is still more loving left to do. There is still more beauty left to witness. There is still more of me left to discover. There is still more life left to share. In the words of Richard Bach, “Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t.”
To all of my family and friends – I do not have adequate words to fully express what your love and support have meant and continue to mean to me, so I will simply say “Thank you!” and trust that you will hear the deep gratitude behind the words. My life is full and rich and abundant, and each of you in your own unique ways have helped to shape the adventure.
And so, on this day when I begin my 65th trip around the sun, I celebrate the amazing gift of being alive. The best is yet to come!