I have to go to town to get ingredients to make the pizzas tonight. We're gathering here, the whole family, to celebrate Mr. Moon's birthday early. Pizzas are good because I can make everything from a vegan pie to one with all the meat. And those in between.
I feel weird. Don't I always get a little crazy this time of year? Summer, the birthdays.
Glen turns sixty on Sunday and I will turn sixty in a month.
This seems impossible. Quite simply not possible.
Sixty is retired and living in Florida because you're done with shoveling snow. Sixty is white hair and a cane. Sixty is separate bedrooms because she snores. Sixty is going out to dinner after church on Sunday. Sixty is shuffleboard and a gingerale at sunset. Sixty is a week's worth of pills in a container labeled S-M-T-W-TH-F-S. Sixty is you've lived your life now get of the way.
Sixty is not the new forty and anyone who says so is a fucking idiot. Sixty is sixty.
Of course, all of these things are true/not true.
Sixty is also still working and sixty is also still loving. Sixty is, I suppose, what you make it within the limitations of everything you have done and which time has done to your body, your mind, your soul, your heart. Sixty is younger than Keith Richards by a decade. Sixty is dancing to the Rolling Stones in the hallway with your grandsons, hands backwards on hips, arms out chicken-winging and butt-wiggling like Mick. Sixty is damn, I shouldn't be doing this, my knee's gonna blow. Sixty is making pizzas and a red velvet birthday cake. Sixty is regret and sixty can be renewal. I hope.
Sixty is as crazy as sixteen without the innocence but with the wisdom. Sixty is just a number but in the terms of human years, not an insignificant one.
Sixty can be exhausting and sixty can be a time of wonder at the simplest things, all-over-childlike again.
Sixty is tallying up the long list of those we have loved who are no longer here.
Sixty is knowing there will most likely be more babies to love, still yet to be born.
Sixty is avoiding mirrors. Sixty is looking at the one you love and loving him all the more for what time has done to him because you were there for each and every minute of the past thirty years and time has done it to you too and sometimes he still tells you that you are beautiful.
Sixty is forgetting shit all the damn time. Sixty is remembering shit all the damn time.
Sixty is having all the ages you've ever been inside you and oh, how they sometimes tussle, the two-year old still pouting, the seventeen-year old still panting, the six-year old still crying for her daddy, the twenty-one year old still holding her first newborn to her breast. So much to hold inside and yet, so much to have to try and learn and adapt to, as well.
Sixty is a mystery and sometimes I am scared. Not because it is that much closer to death but because of what comes between now and then. Sometimes even the good things can be frightening. The more you love, the more you have to lose.
And I am not sure why this melancholic brown study has come upon me on this Friday morning when it is so beautiful and I will see all my babies tonight and actually, all my babies at lunch too.
When I am still strong enough to carry grandchildren, to make the pizzas, to work in the yard, to bear the sorrows that come.
Perhaps I am afraid I am not up to the task of bearing the love which continues and multiplies and redoubles and expands to such a degree that sometimes I feel as if it might crush me. Is my heart big enough for it all? Is the sky?
Could that be it? Just the simple fact that all of this love, so undreamed of, so unexpected, so seemingly undeserved is more than I can bear? And not just the love of family, of friends, but love for these trees, these creatures here, the small shiny brown eggs I'm getting, the little tasks that make up life on earth which even in these days of technology involve water, fire, knives, brooms, soap, sunlight and dirt, the cat who wakes me with kisses on my face, the humming of the crickets, the pleading to the rain gods of the frogs, the floors of this house, the porches, way the trees and sun come together to make puddles of silver which shift and tremble, even as I do?
I do not know.
I am almost sixty and I do not know.
But the older I get, the more I do know that love is the engine which fuels it all from babies to sunlight, from pain to joy and I stand firm in that belief and am witness to its reality and power.
And I will do all that I can to hold it and recognize it and channel it until such time as it is no longer possible, until this vessel breaks and leaks it all back out to return from whence it all came.