Till the tired heart shall cease to palpitate.
At Sixty wrote the
Goethe, at Weimer, toiling to the last,
Completed Faust when eighty years were past.
What then? Shall we sit idly down and say
The night hath come; it is no longer day?
The night hath not yet come; we are not quite
Cut off from labor by failing light;
For age is opportunity no less
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as the evening twilight fades away
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.
I had a great birthday. For starters, I took the day off, so I didn’t have the horrendous commute. Next, because it falls on September 11th, I didn’t turn on the television all day, as watching reruns of what happened in 2001 is always too depressing. As it was, the day began with my spending three and a half hours up close and personal with my dentist, something I hadn’t anticipated, but the upside (in addition to the dental work now completed) is that when his staff found out it was my birthday, they gave me a bottle of champagne (“special mouth wash” - actually Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin) which is chilling in my fridge as I type. I loved that!
After the rather grueling trip to the dentist, mouth still numb, I drove a few blocks to The Crescent, where Tuan worked his magic and gave me a decent haircut. At home there were cards, emails, voice mails and phone calls with birthday greetings from friends and family, including all 4 kids and recently turned 6-Alexander, who thinks I’m 38 (thank you, Kath!). In the evening, a terrific present, and one I hadn’t anticipated: Chris came over and hung out for a couple of hours. We curled up on opposite couches in the living room, he with a beer and I with a glass of wine, and we talked books, politics and religion, non-stop, until midnight. Then on Friday night, A, Kath, Chris, Stephanie & I had dinner together at a small neighborhood Italian restaurant, where we sat around talking and laughing until we realized we were the last ones there, and we needed to leave because the staff, who was being very gracious about it, needed to close.
It doesn't get much better than that, and so I'm taking a moment to write about it. I have such a great safety net of friends and family; people I love and who love me, and the older I get, the more I appreciate that. It's one of the best things about getting older: gaining perspective and learning to appreciate things I didn't see or took for granted when I was younger.
Life is good.