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!