That doesn’t even sound real.
I might be half way to dead, but I’m probably closer. I’ve joked with my kids that I’m going to reach 105. I aim to make their lives as fraught with my presence as human will allows. Besides, it will likely take me that long to render paybacks for all the gray hair they’ve given me, times four.
I’m not ashamed of turning 50, nor am I depressed by it. I’m rather delighted with the achievement and think of it more as a beginning than an ending.
Here’s something — my birthday lands on the day of a full blood-moon lunar eclipse. It’s the second in a four blood-moon succession, a “tetrad” in science-speak, that began last April. Before the 20th century, three hundred years passed between tetrads. That means Sir Isaac Newton, Mozart, Queen Anne, George Washington, Napolean, Abraham Lincoln nor their contemporaries ever had a chance to witness this type of thing. The event will peak in the early morning hours of October 8, the very time of the very day when I was born 50 years ago.
There’s more — my birth name, Cynthia, was an epithet in its Greek origin for the moon goddess, Artemis, born on Mt. Cynthus. In fact, the Greek Selene and Roman Diana, personifications of the moon, were often called Cynthia. Even the Christian meaning suggests moon-ness with its “reflector of light” translation.
I don’t know what all of these coincidences imply, but I find them fascinating.
I’ve also been thinking about how, in Leviticus, the Bible speaks of the practice of Jubilee, the every 50 year observance when slaves are freed, debts are forgiven and the mercies of God are particularly manifest. In commemoration of my 50th year of life, this is a celebration I can get behind.
In a way, my Jubilee may have already begun. Life has arrived at a stripped down place. My kids are grown and mostly on their own. I’m single again and on my own. People I loved have died or disappointed, fallen away. I’m making good progress in my quest to become debt-free, and as I sit on this precipice of time looking back 49 years at a wildly tumultuous and disadvantaged past, it occurs to me that it is just that — passed. I ache a little for the sadness and the loss and the travail, but I am the sum of my experiences, not the victim.
What lies ahead? Maybe I’ll feel like writing again. Maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll find love. Maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll go on solo adventures of discovery where I unearth far more than I ever dreamed. I might even stay put here on my little acre in the trees, doing as I have been, waking each day to the marvels and beauty of an ever-changing creation, grateful for the solace and balm this heaven affords.
But I’ll live this next year spying life through the lens of Jubilee. Every moment will pass through that filter and I’ll be searching to spot the good. October 8 this year is a big one on the celestial calendar, and it’s a big one for me too. I’ll set out to chart new territories, map the landscape of this ever-evolving self, and I’ll be flying solo — finally, finally, finally feeling as free as I’ll ever be.