Birthday Reflections

A few days of hard rain cleared the remaining ice from the lakes and transformed the woods into a lush, mossy wonderland. Now I walk outside to the birds chirping (and what sounds like a giant frog orgy), and I can't keep the smile off my face. No. More. Winter.

Yesterday Daisy and I went for a walk in the woods through a giant grove of jack pines. The tall, lanky trees groaned as the wind pushed them about. I thought about the Invisibilia episode we listened to over the weekend on the theme of entanglement. For part of the podcast they talked about how we unconsciously mimic the body language of the people around us, and new research shows that it doesn't just stop on the surface: that we actually begin to feel the emotions of those around us.

That's why I enjoy the solitude of nature so much. It's how I disconnect from the complexities of life and remember how to live in the moment. Watching Daisy splash through the lake and run through the trees helps me forget about that giant to-do list on our chalk board with fun things like "file insurance claim" and "call internet company" scrawled across it, or that crotchety person who came into the newspaper to tell me how to do my job.

Today is my 25th birthday, and for the first time I actually feel like an adult. It's a weird realization. Five years ago I lived in a small duplex in California. My favorite days were the ones when we would ditch class in favor of a drive to Santa Cruz for beach hangs and burritos. Five years from now? We could be in Guatemala or Chile or Alaska or Nevada or Colorado or British Columbia. I could be doing more freelance writing. I could have pulled off the photography exhibit I've been dreaming of. For the first time in a long while I know what I want to do with my life, and I think I know how to make it happen.

But for now, I'm going to go home and do the simple things that make me happy. Dig up some weeds in the yard, run with Daisy through our backyard trails, and enjoy a celebratory dinner with friends. Happy Birthday to me.