Thirty-two Years, Very Few Tears

For everything there is a season… a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; … a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Today, our “baby” turns thirty-two. She is our first-born, our eldest, and our last-born, our youngest. The Alpha and Omega of our progeny.

happy birthday cakes pictures download | Happy Birthday Greetings free download || Cake Happy Birthday Wishes ...

In her time on this planet she has accomplished many things.

She has a quick wit, a bright sense of humor, a willingness to challenge herself on mountain trails and in courts of law. An attorney, a bright intellect, an excellent cook (which she gets from my long line of culinary excellence), a raiser of chickens, and a companion of dogs.

A wife with excellent skills in choosing her husband (Chuck paid me to say this) and a fierce and loyal friend.

Now, she is preparing to enter a new stage of life and bring us all along with her. Soon she will be the one holding a new life in her hands, just like we did thirty-two years ago. And while every moment has not been perfect, it has been a perfectly wonderful experience. Where those years have gone is a mystery, but I wouldn’t have missed them for the world.

Her moment of a life changing event approaches, and time will speed up for her as it has for us..

But all  her accomplishments, her talents and skills and hard work to get where she is, the many moments of her life are just frosting on the cake of her being (the thick butter kind, not that whipped stuff) for she had our hearts the moment she first opened her eyes.

As will her soon to be born child.

Happy Birthday, Kelsey, and may there be many more.

Legal Notice:

 This constitutes the entire extent of my birthday present to you. There is no expressed or implied intention to offer, supply, secure, fund, obtain, invest, or otherwise acquire any additional product, investment vehicle, or other real or valuable items. (Got my money’s worth out of that law school investment.)

Through a Puppy’s Eyes

On this first morning of my 365-day-long 62nd orbit of the sun, I took stock of life.  Where I’ve been, where I am, and where I am heading.

From the time of my birth, I’ve traveled 556,625,000 miles on this spinning earth. Since my arrival on this planet, I and all my fellow humans who’ve been alive a similar amount of time have traveled 274,661,040,000 miles around the galactic center of the Milky Way.

Our universe, if Einstein and Hubble are correct, continues to expand.  In the time it takes most to read this (say 10 minutes) we will be 85,666 miles further along in our rotating galaxy and about 166 miles further along in our latest rotation of the earth.

The point? We are never in the same place twice. Everything about our lives, our world, our universe changes.

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” ― Heraclitus

For some, a birthday is a sad reminder of their mortality and aging. For me, it is a day to consider one’s life. Every moment of every day for every human is unique. No other human is like you. No other will experience any moment in the same way.

No other human, not one, lives the same life.

Now for many of our fellow humans, those living in poverty and squalor, tossed by the virulent politics of tribal legacy or totalitarian regimes, they may not see the difference moment to moment.

It is incumbent on us to remember this as we live our more fortunate lives. We do well to do what we can to change the world, understanding that the only way to happiness is through freedom of choice and tolerance of differences. It is not ours to impose our choices on others, but to ensure they can make their own choices.

James Taylor sings that “the secret to life is enjoying the passage of time…” I would agree, for time is an irresistible force. But I think there’s more to the secret of life. One has to look at the world as if for the first time. Recognize the vicissitudes of each moment of your life. Look for the potential for the future, not despair of the past.

What gave me this idea was a small puppy. puppyWalking along the bike path, bouncing back and forth on his leash, everything was new to him. The grass, a fallen leave, a fluttering butterfly, my wife and I passing by.

Through that puppy’s eyes, the world was full of hope, opportunity, and discovery.  As we age, it is hard to hold on to such wonder. Yet to lose it is to lose one’s best hope to enjoy each revolution around the sun.

Life, like the universe, is a matter of mathematics. Each of us experiences our first revolution around the sun and our last. It’s what you do with the revolutions between the first and the last that matters.

In the words of Warren Zevon, dying of cancer, when asked if he had any advice for others said, “Enjoy every sandwich.”

I intend to do just that.