And so we cry out this morning, as our kind have cried for centuries on every Easter morning: Christ has died. Christ has risen Christ will come again. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.
Yesterday was my birthday, and I am full of glee this morning…or at least I think what I feel is nearer to outright, childish glee than to anything else I know of. And the reason is that, for the next 364 days, I can honestly say, “I’ll be 75 on my birthday, God willing.”
I don’t know when exactly it was that I became greedy of the years. I can remember, as every kid-turned-grown-up can, how I anticipated turning twenty-one; but that yearning was more for freedom than for advanced age. I can remember, after that, thinking for years that forty would be wonderful. Part of that anticipation was [and is] a gender thing in that biological existence gets a lot easier for women somewhere along in there.
Sixty-five is significant as well. At fifty, one feels–or I did anyway–as if life can now be lived more than accumulated. Most of what society demands by way of formal education, the expected mortgages and possessions, the requisite children, the identified skills and their employment…all of those things are either in place or as in place as they are ever going to be. Ahead of fifty stretches those wonderously rich years of being both as free as one will ever be of restrictions and also as able as one will ever be to do with what has been given. But sixty-five! Oh, my goodness, sixty-five is the time when most of us can begin to harvest part of our own crop, harvest and share and maybe even, if we are blessed, begin to seed out beyond ourselves with some of what we have been given and a bit, as well, of what we ourselves have mixed and matched.
Seventy-five is being poised–exquisitely poised, even– to enter and know the glory at last. Seventy-five is to say, “Take my hand, I’m coming in to rest a while,” and know it is true. And seventy-five is also to say, out the whole sum of one’s many, many years, “Thank You.”
I will, by the way, be seventy-five on my next birthday, God being willing.