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.
What is wrong with the world today? Where does one begin? But surely at the heart of it is the fact that we have forgotten who we are, where we came from, and have lost all bearings so that we have no idea where we are going. We are blind sailors on ships that have lost their sails, tossed rudderless on black waters. And yet we think we are the crown of creation.