30: BLINK. 30 years, 3 days, and Counting


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Words from my dad on the occasion of my 30th birthday… presented over lunch with two squirming boys on a Sunday afternoon at a quiet spot (that is, until we arrived)

That’s it.
Open shut them open shut them
cry then eat then sleep then cry.

Finding your voice
finding your feet
losing your fat
in come your teeth.

Long summer days
dolls in your arms
but then its your friends
and school-day alarms.

Homework and games
leaves orange brown
thick golden hair
laughs all around.

Stepping then running
then sprinting and bursting.
A long-legged blur
for the future you’re thirsting

The fresh life you sought
brings you close to new friends
who love and live with you
and form a new lens.

Through which to cast
an eye towards another
and see your reflection
embraced completely.

That embrace once returned
leads to love’s relation.
and vows and new houses
and two new creations.

Eat then work then love then sleep
open shut them open shut them.
That’s it.

I blink and time has passed. Thirty years, three days, and counting. Days have passed and I have endured them. Some have sped too fast to catch my breath. Some have crept along too slow in between breaths.

The significance of these 10,953 days is not in the accumulation of meager wealth, success, or power. It is found in the ones who have walked these days with me.

Relationships can be fleeting and time can be fickle. In the mystery of this life, some connections are cut short after days and some endure for years until time separates us.  I give thanks for every one of them. Their presence has shaped me to be the one who sits here on this 10,953rd day.

I give thanks for the ones who allowed me to take deep breaths for I knew I was fully welcomed and accepted. For the ones who beckoned my true self forth to dance out in the light. For the ones who shaped the eyes through which I see and the voice through which words emerge.

Some may judge me by how many days I have lived. Too few. Too many. Never enough. And yet, perhaps there is the hope that if I pass these days with boldness and humility, I will be able to say “yes” when asked if I have had enough of them.

May I be a good steward of all these days until my last one. For there will be a last one. I cannot ignore the reality dancing out in the future. But in the hope that comes from Life’s greatest mystery, I live this present day without Fear’s paralyzing grip. I trust that Love has more tenacity than Life’s fragility. I trust that Love has more power in its quality than in Life’s quantity.

For the mystery of it all, I pause and give thanks.

Open shut them open shut them. That’s it. Blink.

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