Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Waking up on 7/7...or, cornering the market on what a day can bring...

For me, 7/7 is the day of my birth. Born in the seventh hour of the seventh day of the seventh month in the seventh year of the decade...Of course my lucky number is 2!

Still, as the day has unfolded, I am seeing "my" day through a new lens. When I was a kid, mom and dad always made a big fuss over our birthdays. Even today, mom calls in the early hours of the morning (later, now that we are all getting older!) to sing a quick and staccato version of "Happy Birthday" to the one celebrating the anniversary of their birth.

This year, I got the chance to share my birthday with a parishioner. So, props to Pete (and to other folks like Ringo Starr) who were born on this day.

But remember, and here is my thought...even the day of our birth is not "ours." I guess part of growing up is that you slowly and deeply enter into the realization that the world turns, not for you, but because gravity and inertia dictate that it continue the dance begun for it at the dawn of time...at the moment of creation when God ordered all things. Sure, one day out of others is the one each of us looks back on as "our" day, but aside from sharing it with other people (known and unknown to us)...it is pretty much like any other day.

Except, I get to share my birthday with history now. Waking up and turning on the news, I don't hear Matt Lauer or Meredith Viera talking about my (or Ringo Starr's) birthday. They are offering up coverage of Michael Jackson's funeral. They are also reporting on the commemoration of a memorial in London that celebrates the lives and marks the deaths of the people who died in the subway bombing attacks on this day in 2005. I guess that is my point today. I have seen 42 birthdays come and go now-42...wasn't that the "answer" that the computer Deep Thought came up with when challenged to explain the meaning of life in Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy series?" What I have learned is that there is something more to making something "your" day when there is so much to remember. For the people of Great Britain and for the families of those who died or were injured that day in 2005, the day will be one of sorrow. For Michael Jackson's family and friends, this will be the day they mark as the beginning of the being able to say goodbye to their beloved son, brother, friend, idol.

For me, it's just a birthday...but today it gives me a chance to look around and see a world that is still turning on its axis like it did yesterday, and will tomorrow...full of people seeking a deeper understanding of life and who continue to strive to be closer to God and to each other.

This is a humble birthday. God bless us, me, Peter and Ringo...and all the other folks who mark their birth-and the chance to live this remarkable life on this remarkable planet. We are very lucky people....even if 7 isn't quite as lucky as 2, 5, 9 or 42.

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