41

Photos: 2011 – 2020

Good morning. Today I am 41 years old. Words cannot explain how happy I am to be here on Earth and to be able to write these words. I know too many people who are no longer around, who were not fortunate enough to make it to this age.

Life is a steady stream of hardships. We are lucky to endure them. No matter how hard we fight, life can be taken away in an instant.

Birthdays for me represent an opportunity to express gratitude. As cheesy as it sounds, I am grateful for many blessings. I sound like an Instagram influencer.

At 41 I feel well. It’s as though no time has passed at all. The last 10 years have provided me with experiences that have been pressed like a tattoo on to my heart. I carry them with me, they have informed me.

What I am most grateful for is mobility. I am happy to use my legs, to walk and to run. To see this great planet of ours with ease, because I was born able.

It sounds trite, but I get to wake every single morning and explore my environment. How simple it sounds to be touched by the bristle of a leaf on a tree, or the thud of a wave on the beach, or the songs of the many birds that fly above. To stare up at a blue sky, or to feel the touch of a drop of rain on my hand.

I do not know what awaits for me this year. What does God have planned? As Karen Blixen wrote in Out of Africa, “Perhaps he knew, as I did not, that the Earth was made round so that we would not see too far down the road.”

That’s okay then. If one day I am meant to depart I would like to say what I enjoy the most about being present. I love nothing more than waking up and seeing a pet. Seeing love. Of the ritual of preparing for a day. Of walking around my neighbourhood. Of preparing dinner and tasting wine. Of reading a book, an article, researching the life of a grand person.

Have you ever found yourself on a dirt road with nothing forward in your view? In that moment did you look up to see that an orange cloud had enveloped the sky? Did you perhaps feel those few wistful droplets of rain caress your skin? In that moment did you not feel, as I did, whole?

The connection to the Earth is profound.

To be 41. To have the past firmly behind my view. The future, however brief or long it may be, unknown.

It may be magic in the making.

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