It was my birthday when the clock chimed midday in France, and, midnight downunder as in those islands past Australia.
This year we are again celebrating our birthdays in France though in a different commune. To be more precise in a 17th-century farmhouse in the Midi-Pyrenees, which means I still have another 12 hours to go before the clock chimes HAPPY BIRTHDAY. To me, it still feels strange to have a birthday on the other side of the world when I actually had my first scream in the Southern hemisphere. A positive side could be that we now can extend the jollities for longer. Which we are doing and taking time off from housesitting and going up a few canals with good friends from New Zealand in September, more on this at a later stage.
It is not just I who turns another year older while here in France. The Squire does too. As our birthdays are only just a week apart. Though he in some ways is not so happy about turning the page over to the next decade. Whereas I have another year before reaching that significant birthday. At the moment it doesn’t seem quite real.
Yet, we both did not think we would get to this age for differing reasons.
Each time life has thrown its impermanence at us, we have launched our hopes into the universe and asked for more. More hugs, more laughter, more time, more years. We want as much time as possible with the ones we love, which inevitably means growing older.
We can look at ageing as something that just happens and is beyond our control. The way we like to view as receiving a badge of honour each year. It is indeed a privilege.
Each one of us can either focus on the destination or the journey.
The wear and tear of ageing is evidence of all the living we’ve done; marking our bodies with keepsakes, reminding us of where we’ve been. Our scars are souvenirs from times we tested boundaries, pushed personal limits, and learned about caution, risk, and judgment.
Our freckles are relics of the carefree, sun-filled summers of our youth. Tanning our skin [or in my case more like burning my pale skin!] on the long sandy beaches or the seas of Aotearoa/New Zealand. Where time has stood still and savoured as there was nowhere we needed to be.
The lines on our faces tell the stories of our lives. Happiness, gratitude, sadness, fear and bits of everything in between are the rivers of emotion that, over time, formed lines around our eyes and mouths, leaving signs of how this life has shaped us individually and differently.
We shall continue to welcome the candles and embrace the privilege of age. Each birthday is another year we get to be here, enjoying our lives as nomads. For me, with a husband who supports and loves me unconditionally. Which I know the Squire acknowledges I do for him. Not forgetting the support and love received from our family and friends who are spread all over the world.
Hopefully, we have luck on our side, we shall indeed have more wrinkles, belly wobbles and a full head of grey hair. All of these, of course, will come with more wisdom, peace of mind, and total comfort in ourselves.
When we blow out the candles this year my wish for the both of us, is the same as always. For us to share another trip around the sun together, making more incredible memories and adding more candles to our birthday cake.