It’s that time again, when our soul is measured by trips around the sun. An ever present beacon by which we regulate our lives. Day in and day out, yet never quite as bright as the beacons we meet in one another. While some people are distant as our sun, we are constantly effected by our relative orbits.
I have, in my short time of 50 years, met extraordinary individuals, traveled the world, made countless acquaintances while maintaining trusted friendships made in the 3rd grade. I have loved and been loved, mastered and slaved, hired and fired, created and destroyed, succeed and failed, been a child and now a father. None in a particular order, but all executed in my unique and sometimes common way. Yet, with every orbit, kept with regularity, I look forward to rising every day in the certain knowledge of great things to come.
We give thanks and praise for things like water and Jesus in an automated way. Much like our signature blocks which hold sincerely as the universal salutation to goodbye. This missive is not written today in that spirit. No simple salutation of thanks where a more meaningful reply is due. Today, I am engaging with each and every one of you beyond the orbit of our daily routine. No simple thank you for the heartfelt moment you took to wish me happy birthday on this, my 50th trip about the sun. No quick reply to everyone on my social networks in a bulk message via the post or send button. This is a bit more than that in our age of sound bites.
Let me also recognize those who did not reach out on this otherwise normal day. Thank you, too. For like you, I am all too prone to let these moments pass. I do so because I feel every day is precious and that birthdays single out a sometimes narcissistic need of recognition. A tradition that is largely observed out of habit then of substance. Much like when we say thank you in reaction to a greeting.
Happy Birthday. Thank You. A refrain heard around the world daily. How often?
If your birthday is any day except February 29, you share your birthday with approximately 1/365 of any population (0.274%).
Therefore, since the world population as of this writing is estimated at 7 billion you share your birthday with over 19 million people around the world (19,178,082)
So, with over 19 million served, I ask you. “Where’s the beef?” The answer is in the refrain of “thank you.” In writing this today, I want to bring you into a closer orbit due to the gravity of our moment. A moment in time where we see eye to eye. No wars or wealth to divide us on the most common of human understandings; birth. A reflection on how our special day, shared by no less than 19 million others, is special to just one. Or is it?
That is the key, you see. Between you and me. Something special exists because it’s between two people. The birthed and the observer. Often a parent, a twin or a dear friend. Someone who has seen many sunrises with you on the horizon, or sitting beside you when you are otherwise alone. That is why I thank you in this long form. So you know beyond the shadow of a doubt, my shorthand salutation of thank you is sincere, even if brief at times.
I have been blessed with a life I could not imagine in my youth. I have no bucket list to fill, no fantastic love lost I lament, no regrets for the things I could have or should have done, no fantasy of what could have been. The nice part is, I am ready for a new sunrise. While we all wake alone, it’s largely due to the orbit I keep with you that I go on. An orbit around the sun, a beacon powered by the same covalent bonds that power our souls.
It is with that I leave my most Masonic of salutations and gratitude.
“Happy to meet, sorry to part, happy to meet again!”
May you, like me, never regret and never forget, to sincerely say: