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soixante huit

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What do you make of birthdays when you’re getting old? I’m told that Zen practitioner no longer mark the occasion (although some make a fuss about the Buddha’s own). I woke up this morning with the familiar mix of physical and emotional aches, made the same cup of tea and pot of oatmeal as I often do.

Same old, same old — yet new and for the first time. This is a day like any other, yet it is not. I’ve never been here (nor have you, come to think of it). Celebrate? Why not celebrate this moment? And say a prayer of thanksgiving —

Praised be your father and mother,
Who loved you before you were,
And trusted to call you here
With no idea who you would be.

Blessed be those who have loved you
Into becoming who you were meant to be,
Blessed be those who have crossed your life
With dark gifts of hurt and loss
That have helped to school your mind
In the art of disappointment.

On this echoing-day of your birth,
May you open the gift of solitude
In order to receive your soul;
Enter the generosity of silence
To hear your hidden heart;
Know the serenity of stillness
To be enfolded anew
By the miracle of your being.

source: O’Donohue, J. (2008). To bless the space between us. Doubleday, p. 51. image: self-portrait walking along the camino.

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12 responses »

  1. happy birthday, Old Guy. might as well get used to it.

    Reply
  2. get used to what, happy?

    thank you, Steve.

    Reply
  3. Happy Everyday to you Peter!! The world is a better place because you are in it!

    :):):)

    Reply
  4. get used to another age splot, to happy, to miserable, to luscious summer days, to more birthdays, to celebrating non-birthdays, to not celebrating birthdays, to picking up the flashlight, using it for whatever it’s good for, and putting it down, not into the back pocket….

    Reply
  5. Ryushin (monk/ey friend)

    Good morning Sweet Pea,

    Just wanted to write and send along a loving hello on the anniversary of your birth. I’m so glad you could make it to this world.

    How are you celebrating?

    Many loving kisses to your forehead, my friend.

    ~Ryushin

    Reply
  6. wiser … but not older sir! oh no you are not. here is to the gift of life, the tax of each year and the evolution of the soul, spirit and mind.

    I am so forever grateful for your role in my life!
    bless you and all of those in your circle or who soon will be!

    all my love and respect

    Reply
  7. Happy Birthday to you Peter!
    May you be surrounded by the warmth and laughter of good friends.

    Reply
  8. I thought your birthday was in April …ha, ha
    Hope your day was special …

    I like your welcoming of each day as a new one
    As I approach 65, I’m starting to feel
    each new day as one more day gone from my life….which is true
    ….Feeling more the body wearing down and the years going by …
    And at times I’m reminded of the amazing things that people have done in their
    later years ….and I feel ready for something new to come into my life …
    We’re not done til we’ve taken our last breath.
    Cheers to our senior years…..Peter.
    All the best
    Dawne

    Reply
  9. joan doerksen

    Happy Birthday, Peter. 24 hours that is yours! Tho’ the celebration can continue for as long as a month, I’m told. Great to have sat with you on your special day. Hope the year ahead is filled with happiness, good health and peace.

    ~ Joan XO

    Reply
  10. for goodness sakes peter – you are still here ;o) happy birthday to you!

    Reply
  11. alles gute….viel spass…love ella

    Reply

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