it’s my birthday

It’s my birthday,  I’m 53 years old today.  One year older and one year (hopefully) wiser.  This morning I asked my daughter to make a portrait of me.  This is somewhat scary.  Maybe I’m not that wiser after all.  

Why do I want a portrait?  Well, I’m beginning to notice something that looks like time marching across my face.  It makes me feel a strange mixture of fear and compassion for the me of today and the me of all those years that left their mark.

Sometimes I wonder if each crease and crack tells a story.  I know that the wooden salad bowl has a crack because on one lazy night years ago and for no good reason, I left water in it.  At first I moaned about that crack because the bowl is an old one that has been toned to a rich brown which takes time, like years, to achieve.  To me it was perfect and now it was imperfect.  I still love the bowl it has remained in my kitchen and the crack doesn’t even bother me anymore.

Like the bowl, I too have stories.  One year when the ground was frozen I went out into the woods to dig up some moss for a seasonal celebration at my kids’ school.  Under the dried leaves I found the moss and I remember what a chore it was getting it out of the ground.  Little did I know, because everything that is usually green and growing was dead or asleep, that I was digging in a poison ivy patch.

Until the next morning.  With one eye swollen shut and oozing I made it to the event and did my stint.  Not a pretty look!  It remained that way for longer than I care to remember and today I’m still reminded of it every time I look in the mirror.  Only thing is, I’m not as kind and forgiving to myself for all my creases and cracks as I am to a simple bowl.

So, today’s portrait is a simple act of loving kindness to myself and an opportunity to practise acceptance.  Time is going to continue marching on and I know it’s not done with me yet so I may as well give myself an inner hug and go eat some cake for another year wiser!

Portrait of a woman
My birthday self ©Amy Pollard

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