I had this thought last year around my birthday. I thought that birthdays for me ought to be like little Easters, mini rebirths, restoration to life after a year of death. I thought that perhaps what I ought to do is take some time to reflect on my year and see how life has unfolded for me, see how God has worked in my life, see how I have changed and how I have stayed the same.
This past year I have been too quick to anger, prone to rage and childish behavior. I have been a hurricane, unpredictable and damaging. I would like to find myself healed of this. I would like to wake up one day and see that the sky has cleared, that I no longer have this tendancy.
But sometimes I think I spend too much time trying to find ways to change the things I do not like about myself and not enough time thinking about the things I don’t want to change. I think I have a quick wit, a sly sense of humor that is rooted in stating the unstated obvious things. I love when someone laughs at a joke I’ve made.
I like telling stories each night to my children. I like how they jump into the fray of it and come up with outrageous additions to our tales, even when some of the suggestions involve characters from Star Wars, a current favorite at our house.
I saw a great deal of loss this year. Two friends dying of breast cancer, a daughter of a friend (7) dying of leukemia, my “second mother” from my childhood passing away, a move far from my home of 18 years and yet, amidst this I have found time to see the leaves fall from the trees, seen Great Blue Heron’s flying low across the small river near our home, seen just how muddy four small children can get with a yard of mud and began to understand the value of silence.
Perhaps when I wake up tomorrow and have my birthday I will end my day of reflection with the eyes of someone looking forward in hope and gratitude. I hope so.