Tuesday, July 28, 2020

July 28

… is my birthday and so it invites at least a few words. How about Emerson?

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air…

Pretty good description of my day. Began with my first zazen meditation of the trip (not easy in an RV!, walked out into the morning air to walk to the “Sugarbowl” giant sand dune to see if I could still ascend its steep rise. I could. Walking back along the lake’s shore, I invented some new body percussion patterns swatting biting flies. Then jumped into the inviting warmish waters of Lake Michigan and swam my allotted strokes, though a bit like swimming in a washing machine with the churling waves. Back for breakfast and requisite morning card games with Malik and Zadie and then decided to go into town to rent bikes and ride a “rails to trails” path. That we did, about 8 miles worth and the kids holding up great. 

A bit of shopping and back to the cottage for a swim in the back lake, quick shower, make some gazpacho while my daughter bakes the chicken and my wife cooks the corn and voila, a summery birthday dinner. A Zoom call with my sister and nephews on her side and son-in-law Ronnie sadly left behind in Portland to work and that certainly made today distinctive—my first (and hopefully last!) Zoom birthday party!

Some old family friends on my wife’s side came over to sit on the deck and share the blueberry crumble dessert and three hours later, we bid them goodnight. The longest real time social gathering outside the immediate family I’ve had in five months! A classic beautiful sunset, followed quickly by a moon rising, a bald eagle swooping by and enough wind coming up to chase out any bugs. 

In between was reading the Facebook birthday greetings, now extended with text messages and what’s ap messages and even a few e-mails! Let’s be honest here—how can one but help to feel known and appreciated by so many people taking five seconds out of their life to let you know they’re thinking of you. I took a moment to imagine each and when and where and how our paths crossed and that felt good. 

In short, an auspicious way to begin the last of my years in my 60’s, a decade that has surprisingly been one of the happiest and most satisfying of my life. And a good reminder to heed Emerson as one can. On to 70!

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