Sunday, March 16, 2008

Birthday Reflections

I love this image of a shamrock field. Fresh, green...color of hope and GROWTH. Happy St. Patrick's Day! Tomorrow is my 28th birthday...yikes...28!!!

Last night I was with my White House group and we celebrated. It was such a lovely evening with them. We had steak (YUM-O) and grilled veggies, mashed potatoes, Joyce's famous Caesar salad and brownies and vanilla custard for dessert. was just a wonderful time. Then I brought a crazy game over Hear Me Out we played and laughed a lot. It was the most energy I've had in a long time.

Today was pretty mellow...I had breakfast with Sr. Judeen and then I chilled at my house for a while. I went for a long walk; the sun was shining and it was brisk, but nice. Then I went to celebrate mine and my cousin's birthday with the rest of the family (Whit and I have the same b-day...three years a part!). That too was a nice celebration.

I do some of my best thinking on walks. Today was not a leisurely stroll; it was a fast walk with intensity. My mind was going a million miles an hour...I think my pace reflected that. I was thinking about this past year, all of the TRANSITION and newness that happened very quickly. I was thinking about the high from vows this summer and the tiredness I feel now. I was thinking a lot about my Grandma who has been through a rough couple of months and how much I appreciate and respect her. It was a good thinking walk...intense, but very good.

So 28 tomorrow...what will this year bring? What new adventures do I have in store? Usually I'm totally pumped for my birthday. I love's exciting and celebratory. This year I am a bit too blase for even my taste. I was thinking about what to write for my annual "Birthday thoughts" and nothing really came to me.

Then I was sitting on my bed and I saw the book that a good friend shared with me. And that was it! I began reading it as soon as she gave it to me, but then I had to stop. Too many things were tugging at me and I knew in order to get the most out of this book, I needed to really be with it rather than my "nighttime reading" I am going to bring it on retreat with me. Anyway...this book is based on a poem by the same author. My friend used this poem at my pre-vow retreat this summer and it really touched me then. It continues to speak to me, but in a very different way now.

I also was thinking about the fact that my birthday fell in Holy Week this year--the only time in my lifetime that this will happen! I spent some time today thinking about that and realized that there was a message in this timing for me to discover. Given my year and what has unfolded and what is yet to evolve...I'd like to share this poem for my birthday reflection.

I will not die an unlived life
Dawna Markova

I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
or falling or catching fire.

I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible;
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.

As I celebrate with gratitude my 28th year at the beginning of this Holy prayers and thoughts are with the wing, the torch, and promises. I bless those experiences which have been seed (and sometimes it has been seeds from you know where) and I pray that I can nurture those lessons in to blossoms and eventually fruit.