I wrote this on Fathers Day after waking up early-squirrely and lounging about in my pajamas while other folk celebrated their dads and husbands and favorite peeps.
Much like “Winter is Coming!,” my 50th birthday looms meekly on the horizon; like Munro Leaf’s Ferdinand, the giant bull, who preferred reveling in the flowers and shade to bucking and rollicking as expected of somebull so huge.
I’m kind of enjoying the shift to the half-century mark.
My face is still 70% freckles and my laugh is too loud for the aristocracy. One leg is still suspiciously longer than the other and my bed doubles as a one-sparrow nest in the night. I just ordered curtains with star cut outs for my bedroom and sheer curtains with stars to camouflage the sloping ceiling above my bed that someone long ago McGuyvered with 2x4s. Clearly, I am not in the White House.
But I am happy. As happy as I ever hoped and more.
As a freckled fearful gap-toothed 10-year-old wandering Altbach and the Neckar river valley, I wondered if I’d ever have friends. I could not have imagined a happiness as I now have. Freedom. Safety. Quiet-ish. Magpie, K, and the family. Disagreements discussed. Love. Friends. The normal undulations of joys and sorrows.
Having worked my way across a few continents and a country or two, the idea of place as “home” was foreign and “home” as “home- restorative” unknown. I have watched as my children grew and realized “home” can also be with people – wherever they are. Now, I know the Konza prairie and Kansas Flint Hills are close-to-home as long as the people in this place are framily.
Who knows where home will take root in the next 50 years?
So, I sit in my bedroom – a room of respite soon refreshed en totum by my choices and no longer scrabbled together piecemeal – in wonder. The sun still warm on my face and shoulders from yesterday’s kayaking with the on-the-water “girls’ adventure club” and my purple grill still in its box to be assembled. Family. Friends. People, who – in their absence of a week or months – creates a missing inside of me.
And though my faith is still at best a heat mirage on the highway, the one wing I can rest under is a psalm which begins, “Silence is praise to you…” because that is all I have.
But I am happy.
I’ve made a pinky promise to neither talk myself in or out of something in favor of patience and courage.
I’ve made decisions about my tiny home – the Hobbit House apartment – which may seem frivolous or unnecessarily Spartan to some, but they are my decisions and this is my home. Most are welcome here.
I’m growing the teensiest more comfortable with making mistakes, not knowing, and “not yet.” It’s a good thing to be a learner or this living would be insufferable.
And, I’ll be 50 as the month ends.
There is not much I can do to slow time. So I will fill it.
Fill it with people I like and love. Yoga, running, kayaking, snowball throwing (in season), listening, loving, apologies-as-needed, too-loud laughter, longed for tears, and the “come-what-may.”
It is the gift I give myself and has been 50 years in the making.
And because it’s my birthday and I loved this song when I was in high school, Time after Time, Cyndi Lauper.