hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Today, 76

Today is my 76th birthday, 19 or so of them spent here in Point Roberts.  I wish I knew what I had learned over all these years.  Maybe I've learned too much to squash it down to a few sentences.  Maybe I've forgotten most of what I've learned.  Maybe I've gotten to the point where I suspect most of what I thought I knew is probably wrong.  I've been reading about the French Revolution recently, for example.  I think I thought generally it went well except for that little bad part called the Reign of Terror.  Apparently, there were actually a lot more bad parts and that they went on years before and years after said Reign.

Like those things.

I do know how grateful I am for old and faithful friends.  I spoke for an hour today with my oldest friend and although I have not seen her for several decades, and we don't always write frequently, talking to her now is just like talking to her in 1960 when we were both graduate students at UCLA.  I spoke or wrote with my children who are now and always have been the finest single part of my life.  I did a little quilting, which has sustained me as creative work for over 70 years after my mother and grandmother taught me to sew, embroider, and knit when I was  a small child.  I am sorry it wasn't a day for gardening which my father taught me to do: work for fun and for use.  I had lunch and dinner with Ed who is my truly constant companion in every sense of those two words. I cannot really imagine it would be possible to live with any other person every minute of the day with such a sense of fullness of a life shared.

A Point Roberts neighbor came by and we talked of his current doings and he reminisced about P.R. events long before we were here (he has lived her for about 50 years).  In Los Angeles, where I lived for many years, no neighbor ever came by just to chat.  That is why I am grateful to be back in a small town where you have and need to have neighbors you know: who will help you out, just as you help them out.  I opened a gift from an old friend and another from a new friend and yet another from my sister who is the finest gift giver in all the world.  We hardly need gifts at this point in our lives (or at least I do not: I'm trying to move things out, not in), and yet these carefully chosen gifts will stay with me for a long time (well, not the dried plums...those will be consumed) in the thoughtfulness of the givers.  Even if we don't need gifts, it is reassuring to have them now and then, reminding us over time that we are yet worthy of a gift.

And I bought myself an 80-LED rechargeable worklight in case the power goes off.  Worthy or not, when there is no light, there must be light.

My thanks to all who wrote, called, and wished me more birthdays.  I hope to have them and use them well.  There's 77 ahead, already beckoning me on.

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