Today is my birthday – I am now 34 years old, which is strange to say. I haven’t yet gotten used to the feel of the number. Friends and family wished me Happy Birthday, and some of those messages came from the UK, Spain, India, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.
Each message reminded me how fortunate I am. I grew up in a suburb of Indianapolis, yet I have been to both Zambia and Zimbabwe; I have circled Victoria Falls in a 6-seater plane (and as the only passenger, got to ride in the co-pilot seat). A friend invited me to his wedding in India, and his family welcomed me with graciousness and hot tea. I have sat on a rooftop, surrounded by green parrots, talking to a Maharaja who had wrapped himself in a blanket against the chill.
I lived in Scotland for half a year and New York for over six, forging fierce friendships that shaped me, with people so cool and brave and bold I scarcely could have imagined them. I watched my family fall apart, saw my own father be closed up in a box and watched it descend into the dirt, and I was lucky enough to witness my family bloom and grow again.
Tonight I stood barefoot in the yard, feet grounded in the soft, powdery dirt, and spoke to the new moon, wherever it might be behind the clouds. I prayed I could release the things that no longer serve me, so that I might be filled up again. I prayed to welcome love, kindness, empathy, bravery, faith, and whatever else I might need for the next phase of my journey.
Bats flew overhead in the twilight, searching for dinner. I watched them and thought: they have everything they need.
I am wealthy beyond measure, and I wish you that same abundance of spirit.