Birthdays

I had a birthday this week.  Funny how music brings things home.

I remember with clarity listening to John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High.”  The music opens “He was born in the summer of his twenty-seventh year . . .”   At the time I was 26, recently married and I wondered what being 27 would be like.  A few years before, the Beatles had released “When I’m 64.”  And I thought wow is that old.  And now 64 is history.  Pretty soon, God willing, it will be Paul Simon’s “how terribly strange to be seventy.”

There’s the classic question posed to Maurice Chevalier on his 80th birthday – “how does it feel to be eighty years old“?   To which he replied “sure better than the alternative.” And now he’s long gone.

We are but flickers of light. Our task – if not obligation – is to shine as brightly as possible for family, friends, the underprivileged and our world.  And then be remembered.  Monsieur Chevalier also said “you don’t stop laughing because you grow older.  You grow older because you stop laughing.”  That’s pretty good counsel.