Today I think, this is the first time I have not welcomed a birthday. But is it not better than having no birthday, not being here to feel fear of aging? I think about the promising young man, damaged in an accident, who will not live the life he believed would be his. I sorrow for the young woman who may not live to see her small children grow to independence. The best, the only, service I can do for these and others is to rejoice in the fact of my existence. I am here, still competent to see blossoms on trees, feel sun or rain upon my skin, observe wasps amongst the raspberries, a dragonfly flitting, fleet as my life. I am still here to watch starlings on the lawn or listen to the cry of seabirds riding in the ocean of air. I am still here to smell fresh earth as life awakens in springtime, and the fragrance of lilacs or lilies. This gesture to appreciate the life I have been blessed with is perhaps the only gift that I can bring to this world; a profound sense of gratitude that I am here, in this place, at this time, out of all the universe, a fragile moment carved out of eternity.