A couple of days ago we took the dogs for a walk along the river.
It was a gorgeous day, cool and sunny, the river was high from snow melt and the wild flowers were out in force.
Big Rogue wanted to get in the river but it was too high and swift for her. Sparky only wanted to mark on things and Tigger was scared most of the time. Tigger did okay after a while but he is so frightened of the car. Does he remember being dumped? Poor little guy, he cuddled with me all the way home, with his head on my chest. Everyone else held their noses because Rogue and her wet dog smell was a bit overwhelming. Stinky dog.
This last week was one of "those" birthdays, you know the kind, a landmark event kinda thing. It was a sad few days really, I spent a great deal of time choking back tears. Then my sister showed up with plane tickets to Las Vegas and it was all I could do to not sit on the floor and sob. No one has ever done anything like that for me before.
This birthday was a time of regret and assessment. My aunt said "you have lived longer now than you are going to". Yes. And what have I done with it. My time on earth, what have I done with it?
There were great mistakes made and difficult lessons learned, highs and lows, though it seems I remember so few of the highs.
Children born and nearly raised, dozens of animals loved and died, friends made and lost, loved ones passed away, a difficult marriage fading into complacency, sons who make my soul sing, aches and pains, sorrow and despair, and through all of it, the good and bad, I am deeply and profoundly blessed.
The question still remains and always will until I take my last breath, what have I done? Have I been good enough? kind enough? have I used my gifts as the Lord would have me use them? I have tried and failed in a million different ways, how much will I be held accountable for? how many sins omission as well as commission?
The road goes on and on with no end in sight and thank God for that. I am grateful for no time limits at least within reason, it will end eventually, but for now I am healthy and well and there is still time for me to achieve my dreams.
Though I am now considered "old". I still do have dreams.
Those who are young artists have so much more relevancy than I do now. Their computer skills and design sense are "now" while I still rely on the old school pencil and paint. These tools, I cannot give up no matter how relevant I seek to be.
A computer and screen are not tactile enough for me, I want to smell the paint and feel the pencil, scrub the surface with my fingers and dirty my hands.
I am old.
Like my son said, "you are old enough now to say anything you want, oh wait you already do that".
I am old, old enough to have confidence in myself and my life and opinions that I never had in my twenties. Old enough to have confidence in my work that I never had before.
Old enough to know better and behave myself, though I rarely do.
I am old, and damned grateful for it too, several of my friends never made it to "old".
So though it was a difficult birthday it was and always will be a day to celebrate even if it's just me doing it.