Looking into the Future
It would be nice to spend the whole day simultaneously sleeping in, reading a Jane Austen novel a la bubblebath, having some chocolate and a little red wine, taking a walk on a beach or around the neighborhood, getting together with a friend for lunch, watching a great movie with my family, going to a musical concert, singing and playing the piano, listening to some great music (selections from the sacred choral tradition along with music from the 1960's and 70's - my high school and college soundtrack) and maybe doing a little dancing at a party. I also would enjoy a horseback ride, playing just a few holes of golf in which I hit safely over all water hazards and sink my putts for pars, reading my favorite blogs and online magazines while snuggling with my pets Kitty and Bunny, going to a jazz concert with my husband, mom and son featuring my other son on trumpet, and collecting some fragrant rose blooms for the table. I would also enjoy a visit with my grandson and his parents in which we would talk about bananas and balls and smear some spaghetti sauce around. Snorkeling would be fun, too, or going on a whale watch.
I could go on and on, I guess, but these are a few of my favorite things, as the song says. And obviously one cannot do them all at once or even do them all in a span of a day or a week. Some of my online friends have suggested that nothing less than a birthday month will do; I think that's a fine idea. I've already had some very enjoyable interactions and activities during my birthday month, starting with rereading Pride and Prejudice (I see something new in it each time I read it) on my iPod while traveling, traveling!, seeing the ocean and some lighthouses and listening to foghorns, meeting new people, receiving a mother's day book of photographs of my grandson and some whimsical garden art. Tonight I will go to a jazz concert downtown with my husband, mom and son, in which my other son will play.
Natal feast days are not only times to look back on the joys and pleasures of life lived but to look forward to life that will be lived as well. Birthday wishes are often expressed thus: Many happy returns of the day! A forward-looking greeting of life moving ahead, punctuated by birthdays returning, birthdays yet to come, life yet to come and enjoy and celebrate.
Would that I could peer into the future and see what God has in store for me next! I feel that I am on the brink of wonderful possibility. And yet, as evidenced by the fact that I will be attending the funeral of a friend's daughter today, I know that in addition to joy and wonder and warmth there is also sadness and loss and grief ahead. As Jesus says in the Gospel of John, "I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now." Life in God is one of the mysteries.
Looking back and looking forward, what I know is that God has been and will be with me in all of these times. And as Helen Keller said, life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.
Onward. Bring on the next chapter in the adventure!