Happy Birthday to me, on April 7th. (Also William Wordsworth's birthday, so happy day, Will!) I'll be busy that day, so I thought I'd write this now. My friend Maureen taught me how to enjoy my birthday to the fullest. She said you must plan your own celebration, remind (gently) friends and family that it is, indeed, your birthday coming up, you know, just sort of mention it here and there, like, for example, send a telegram every week during the month preceding your birthday to everyone you know or hire one of those trucks with a bullhorn on the roof and drive around announcing the upcoming gala, the awesome and only once-a-year event of your birthday. You might also send a gift list through the group email of things you'd like to receive, sizes, various price ranges, so everyone can get involved. Actually, Maureen didn't say that. She just said make your birthday fun for yourself and invite others to join you in that fun if they so choose. In other words, don't wait around for anyone to do anything. Create the beauty yourself.
So this birthday, I'm playing tennis with my husband, then a long walk on the beach and out to dinner. We were going to take a little trip somewhere, but I'm in the stay-at-home mood. I love to wake up in my own bed with my lovely man. That is the greatest gift to me.
I don't want anything for my birthday, except what I already have. We got married on my birthday. So it's our anniversary, too.
What else can I say about birthdays? I'm glad to have another one. I feel timeless most of the time although I'm stunned by how long I've lived on earth. I was conceived in a Motel Six during a chain lightning storm in Henderson, Nevada, or so my mother said. I hope it was a good romp in the hay, getting that sperm to that egg.
Can you believe how it works, how we come in and go out? We come from No Thing Ness and return to it. The Great Tao. The Mystery. This makes me want to find just the right birthday poem from the Tao Te Ching to end with here:
If you look to others for fulfillment,
you will never truly be fulfilled.
If your happiness depends on money,
you will never be happy with yourself.
Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.
However, I do want golf shoes. Size eight. Tan and white. I'm such a novitiate golfer, but getting better with each hack of the club. I'm not sure golf shoes will help. And truly, I'm content with wearing my running shoes. I have to hunt all over God's green acre for the ball, so they come in handy.
Lao-tzu would have been the perfect golf instructor, teaching about flow and staying fluid and in the zone.
No one knows exactly when Lao-tzu was born. Practically nothing can be told about his life. And he left without a trace, except for one of the wonders of the world: his book.
Happy birthday, Lao-tzu!
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