Some birthdays are sweet because of thoughtful people in them. Some are sweet because of where you are. Some bring just the perfect weather. On some, you feel every blessing on earth is being heaped upon you.
Welcome to my recent birthday.
Our summer monsoons came that afternoon, lighting the sky with electric spears that ultimately started several trees on fire on the mesa. Booming thunder reverberated through the canyons. Drenching rain fell, for a good twenty minutes, which I measured at a remarkable 0.25 inches in our weather station next morning. (Remember, we get only 9 inches a year here.) A rainbow appeared between us and the La Sal Mountains.
The humidity took some getting used to, as typically it runs 10 to 20 percent out here. I’ve added a photo of my humidified hair, longer than it’s been in fifteen years, getting to that unmanageable “whatever am I going to do to tame this while it’s growing out?” stage.
After work, co-workers Mike and Bobby knocked on the trailer door and informed me they were grilling me a birthday chicken dinner with potatoes and gravy, but did I have any vegetables? The new bunch of asparagus came with us to their house and I watched in amazement as Mike’s heretofore-unknown chef skills became obvious to all. That was one delicious chicken dinner.
And then, in the golden-turning light that just precedes sunset, a double rainbow appeared. Rainbows are always, always a sign to me of God’s grace and mercy; a double one was a memorable birthday gift. The bronze light sealed the blessing in my soul.
And so begins another year. I don’t know what it will hold; I don’t know where I will be. I do know that I am smack in the middle of living my park ranger dream, using my skills to make others’ nature experiences rich and full. This is my deep, deep satisfaction and joy in mid-life.