Thursday, November 13, 2008

On Turning Fifty

It was my fiftieth birthday on Saturday. I believe I won't live to 100 so I'm shooting for 75 as a ripe old age to wind up at. That means I've only got 25 years left to finish what I've started and everything I try to do seems to take longer than it once did. Oh well, we can only accomplish as much as we possibly can.

In honor of the day I took a long walk around the land, visiting all my favorite power spots and thinking about what I wanted from this year and the next third of my life. It was a phenomenal day which I took as a good sign, sunny and clear, blue blue skies, the trees still turning. Dogwoods flame with the lower leaves yellow and upper leaves red.

The Ginko Biloba on its' way from deep green to lime green to yellow to gold. We are placing bets on which day this week all the leaves will drop off, they tend to fall almost simultaneously.
On my walk down to the creek I drank in the gorgeous day. Dry leaves were swirling around and down, making a crinkling sound as they fluttered out of the trees, through the air and landed crisply on the ground. A giant oak fell across the creek in the hurricane Hannah flood making a perfect bridge, so I scaled it and crossed to walk with a new perspective from the other side. Over there the bottom land is broad and flat with tall trees, on our side are steep mossy bluffs, rocky and veined with ropey beech roots.
I wandered on down to the big rock bluff, getting there is treacherous, the path now so narrow that you can only put one foot in front of the other, 6 feet above the water on one side, a steep bluff on the other offering no reprieve, nothing to hold on to. But I precariously made my way along the ledge and then scrabbled up the steep slope to sit on top of the big rocks and study the way the big beech branches wrap around them at the top and the roots of the sycamores across the creek grow around the rocks below.

The water was flowing beneath the rocks at the bend at a level that created an echo and reverberation amplifying the burbling, gurgling creek, sending that music up to me as I sat on top, watching the leaves fall, feeling the air on my face, the sun on me and feeling pretty damn good about the place I am in my life right now. A pileated woodpecker called and flew across the sky, a portent of good things I'm sure.

The day progressed into a clear and starry night filled with friends and laughter, champagne and good food, fire and fireworks to send me into a festive new year and new beginnings. The 40's were my best decade of life so far and I think the 50's are going to be even more miraculous.

Celebrations continued into the week, between the fabulous election results- Go Obama!- and my B'day, I've drunk more bubbly in the past week than in the past two or three years, I'm drying out now and moving forward to bright days ahead.

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