Deborah J. Haynes

Turning 66

At dawn I drive to the Longmont airport where I can see the long horizon: to the west, the full moon and mountains; to the east, the brightening sky, all pinks and light blues. As I get out of the car in the morning chill, a hawk flies by. I sit down atop a massive stone table. The moon gets smaller as it "descends," as the earth rotates. Cars whiz by and a runner’s shoes pound the nearby sidewalk. Sounds of machinery at the Amgen plant punctuate the silence.
Above, glorious strands of cirrus clouds, long dragon-like filaments of subtly changing colors. I feel the passing of time, evident as the moon sets and the sun rises, as the large dragon shape-shifts across the sky. Fog-like clouds filter the moon's brightness to the west. Longs Peak brightens, a soft rosy-gray glow. The eastern horizon is bright magenta, then brilliant red-orange--the result of smoke from so many summer fires. Clouds turn white. The full-bodied dragon is now directly above me, showering blessings.
The first small white plane of the day lifts into the air. A second approaches the end of the runway, zooms off. A third plane glides up in front of me, just across the fence.
The moon grows large as it nears the mountain horizon. Finally, the sun rises. The cloud above is no longer a dragon.
To others on their birthdays, I often write, “May the year ahead be joyful and productive. May it be full of surprises.” My own aspirations are more specific:
  • May the turbulence and outer activity of these past two years ease, cease.
  • May I settle in our new home.
  • May I work in the studio each day.
  • May I engage my art in all of its multifarious forms.
  • May I deepen my meditation practice with discipline and devotion.
  • May I help David live well toward the end of his life.
  • May I enjoy the warmth of my loving family, of old and new friends.
  • May I cultivate bodhicitta, the compassionate heart, the genuine heart of sadness that truly sees what is.
The moon caresses the crook of the mountain, then begins to disappear from view, merging into clouds. A halo appears along the mountain ridge. Sun warms my back. Driving out of the parking lot, a bumper sticker seems to leap off a truck: LOVE LIFE. I do.

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