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As is my custom, I post to my blog on my birthday to mark to occasion and to reflect on the year that’s past, look at the day that is, and meditate on the year to come. Today, I have completed thirty-one orbits of our sun and I start my thirty-second.

My writing on this blog is infrequent, at best, and so my inspiration for writing is harder to come by. So I look to the post of previous birthday to see what was a year ago and ask myself, “What has changed.” One section from last year stood out to me as I read it:

I am the man I want to be. I’m glad I can say that at 30. I’m not done, not by a long shot, and there are still many things I want to be yet and many things I want to do. But I can honestly say that I am the person I want to be when I wake up and when I lie down and all of the time in between.

I’m happy to say that this has not changed.

My year has been excellent in nearly every way I can imagine. I continue to be surrounded by the greatest friends a man can ask for. I spend each of my days with the most beautiful people on the planet and count myself blessed to be surrounded by such loving, kind, and amazing people. C.S Lewis wrote of such Friendship better than I could:

In a perfect Friendship this Appreciative love is, I think, often so great and so firmly based that each member of the circle feels, in his secret heart, humbled before all the rest. Sometimes he wonders what he is doing there among his betters. He is lucky beyond desert to be in such company. Especially when the whole group is together, each bringing out all that is best, wisest, or funniest in all the others. Those are the golden sessions; when four or five of us after a hard day’s walking have come to our inn; when our slippers are on, our feet spread out towards the blaze and our drinks at our elbows; when the whole world, and something beyond the world, opens itself to our minds as we talk; and no one has any claim or any responsibility for another, but all are freemen and equals as if we had first met an hour ago, while at the same time an Affection mellowed by the years enfolds us. Life—natural life—has no better gift to give. Who could have deserved it?

Life is good. I still have goals and unfulfilled desires, but they have given me the chance to learn patience, after a fashion. In some areas, the potential for fulfillment has taken me quite by surprise in ways I don’t think anyone would expect. And while those things may or may not come to pass, if I have learned any lesson in the last year it is this: the bounds of love and joy and peace don’t exist except in where we place them in our attempts to bring order to the chaos that only we perceive. Life happens in many things, but most of it in the places outside of the boundaries we have decided to raise around our small feifdoms.

I have found great comfort in knowing the order of my world. But I have also learned more of the joy to be found beyond my borders in the friendship, compassion, and love those who are younger, those who are older, and those who are different. I have heard stories of Indonesia, poems of Gold, and lectures from makers of ice cream.  I have drunk deep of coffees and golden ales, seen an Venetian Goddess dance, sung songs of the eve, and heard the Secrets of Others.  If the last year has been about anything, it has been about learning that the world beyond the borders I find that I have set is not out to discredit me or to hurt me, and does not need to earn my trust.  Quite the contrary, this world beyond has things of beauty and grace and lovliness that surpass my wildest imaginings and it trusts me.  In this place I spend the next year and many more to come.

What will come to pass, none can say.  But I know it will be Good.

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