Early one morning last week, I was enjoying a few minutes of tale telling with one of the women who works for me. We are very much alike and easily share laughter and truth about life.
She said that some day, we should run topless through the field that abuts our shop. She heard me chuckling to myself and demanded, in that prim and proper New England school-marm way, that I fess up! Nothing too dramatic to tell, just that I had run naked through many fields in my life and the one next to the shop wasn’t a prime spot for a couple of old women with sagging breasts and pudgy thighs that would create the sound of gulls flying over. We laughed at the image but before we got back to work, she commented that I have lived such a rich and full life.
I guess that I have been so busy living my life, I failed to realize how rich and full it has been.
I have know laughter that couldn’t be contained, smiles that warmed my spirit, and grief so deep I didn’t think I would survive.
I have been blessed to know that the love for one’s child comes not from the act of birthing but from the never-ending act of parenting so I have known motherhood not only by example but also by experience and I have been the father when there was no one else to fill that role. I have known the joy of music and art and my hand in creating both and the satisfaction of a body exhausted by hard physical labor. Thanks to the gift of confidence given to me by the love of my own parents, I built my life in the same way that I built my home, on my own terms.
I have swum in oceans and rivers and lakes and felt my body cut through the cool water without letting it swallow me. I have loved, deeply and passionately, and have been loved the same way in return. I have known friendship that is like the other part of me that was separated at birth.
I have slept under stars, on boats and in beds that I have shared with a variety of creatures, most of them invited. I have read through many nights, great books and trashy novels, until I was forced to reluctantly put aside the book because it was time to leave for work.
I have shed tears alone in the bathtub but seldom in front of others, my pride I guess, and my reluctance to appear vulnerable in the eyes of anyone, myself included.
I have been blessed with a spirit that needs to keep learning and being challenged to either surpass my own expectations or gracefully learn from my failures.
I never really noticed when my hair turned to silver, when my blue eyes changed to a pastel facsimile or when my skin began resembling that of my mother. I have written my own rules, created the woman I have become, lived deliberately and tried to carry out my dreams without intentionally hurting others, and I’ve never looked back.
Yes, I have lived a rich and full life