Today, I am grateful for so much.

Today is my birthday… I am forty-nine today. I approach the curve in the road ahead with ease and excitement – and a little trepidation. The bend that turns the direction in which I have been moving.

It has been a full life. I have sought the reckless, dark pit in which all hope is abandoned; jumped in body, mind and soul. And I have clawed and scraped my way out… bit by bit. I’ve accepted my flaws; knowing that they are temporary and not truly representing who I am—who we all are. I’ve called out for assistance; I’ve cried… out for help. I’ve screamed and taunted my way around the inner truth. And the inner truth has remained patient with me, like a new plant arising from a seed—slowly, patiently seeking the light… that which sustains life.

I’ve been loved and loved. And I still am learning to accept it all. It all is so surreal. It is like a great, bright, Hollywood movie that slowly goes into soft focus while the camera pans up and out… into the air. Looking out over everything in technicolor; the credits roll and the darkness of the theater relaxes us back to earth, having just gone on a glorious journey. And the journey of fantasy encourages the real journey to continue on…

I am grateful for my son – so beautiful it breaks my heart and tears my eyes just to write of him. He is bright and open. He is dark and hidden… little pools of anger in the cave of his being.

The grace of my elder daughter as she grows into womanhood. Curious and seeking; looking to the women who have stepped before her—seeking clues regarding the changes of body and temperature. And she retains the purity she had and showed with such ease and grace when she was very young. Her every fiber yearns to help those who most benefit from attention given by another… As she crossed over the border, from childhood to teen, she honored the planet with a celebration of herself, the mother earth and the people inhabiting it. And she teases her brother and tells me to “shut up” as I walk silently into the room.

And my youngest daughter, whose name brings out the best in everyone. Who is just starting to look out into the bigger world around her. Stepping out on her own, excitedly coming back home to share the adventures experienced. She, last of all, shows me that life progresses… leaving memories of youthful play and times only held by infants and infancy. It is okay to leave Neverland… to grow up. For that which makes Neverland so inviting remains with us throughout our journey.

And my wife, whose love and wisdom enriches my life so fully. And who remains with me as the fragility of our human nature keeps the ice of connection thin; fragile as cracks appear. Yet bravely she continues to walk by my side; our partnership deepens and is enriched as challenges are met. That which does not end us does make us stronger. And what is LOVE. Perhaps it is a stubbornness; knowing that the “issue” is not outside myself, but within—and changing the outside circumstances will not solve my problems. I am the problem. I am the issue.

My life gets better because I am willing to get better. And I am grateful for friends and family; who the more they get to know me see more clearly my foibles; my humanity. And yet they come back after the fall. They tell me it is alright. I find value in continuing one more step because they see value in my stepping…

I am forty-nine today. I am one year away from fifty. I want to run, jump, play… I want to know what it is like to crash into a speedway wall at 260 miles an hour and walk out of the blaze unscathed. I want to experience the silent peace of an empty beach sunset; the grounded peace of all being right— right now.

And right now I know that I haven’t earned that sunset yet. Yes, I know that I am the one whose lesson remains unlearned… How do I know?

I’m not dead yet. 🙂

hey, hey hey… away…