Saturday, September 25, 2010

Double celebration forever on September 24th!

Yesterday I turned 58. It was an Indian summer kind of day. Temps went into the 80's and the sun felt hot on my back as we hiked to the top of Mt. Wachusett with Peter and the dogs. This morning it struck me that yesterday was also the 2 year anniversary of my retirement from 20 years of teaching photography, interdisciplinary studies, video production and fine art at Cambridge Rindge and Latin H.S. I was not in a classroom teaching. I was on the top of a mountain! I was collecting maple leaves for mono printing. I was photographing the blaze of a single red leaf in macro mode. I was feeling strong and fit as I made my way up some steep and challenging parts of the hike.
I felt so much love yesterday. Birthday greetings came in the form of texts, face book messages, songs over my cell phone, emails, cards and presents sent from afar in bubble wrap. I even got
a salutation all the way from Copenhagen. One of my favorite students ( yes, I confess... ) in my last Freshman Fundamentals of Art class sent me a Face Book message " HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I hope you are having a great life and continuing to do art! " My best friend sent me scallop earrings and Paul said he didn't want to give me another pair of earrings and he didn't have a present for me yet. He then said " I know you've been wanting to get that Canon G12. Maybe we should get you that for your birthday. YEEHAW, works for me!
When I woke up this morning I realized the significance this 2 year anniversary of my retirement. I didn't need to take a " personal day" for my birthday ever again. Now everyday is a personal day and no one can criticize me for taking too many sick days. I am free. Free to write, take endless walks with my beloved pups, friends and family. Free to get on my bike at 6 am to photograph and come back whenever I want.
So now my birthday will always be a double celebration. Mary Oliver says " Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? " PLENTY!!!

1 comment:

  1. I can feel the elation! what a great day and life you are leading.
    appreciative of every moment. In my writing last week I mentioned my "sparkling life" and a student commented on it. I like my life, I said.
    nothing like teaching for 20 years (me too) to make you appreciate freedom in a new way.
    I am so glad you had a great birthday. here's to many more.
    Born again at 58!