Admit that once you have got up from your chair and opened the door, once you have walked out into the clear air toward that edge and taken the path up high beyond the ordinary you have become the privileged and the pilgrim, the one who will tell the story and the one, coming back from the mountain who helped to make it.
Doors — They begin an adventure. They end a long day.
Doors — They stand open to call us toward a time of growth. They slowly close to create a space for quiet when it’s time to gather and reflect.
Today, I sit at a door. Today, I welcome a new year… My 65th. It is a day to pause. I never imagined what it would be like to reach this birthday. As a person with a disability, it is a challenge to plan for the future because so many things can come up along the way. Yet, here I am at 65 – healthy, able to pursue my interests, and still full of curiosity.
There have been adventures leading to this birthday and there will be adventures following this birthday. I greet each like a new door, calling me to trust as I move over its threshold.
I celebrate this day with gratitude and look ahead with anticipation.
Never be so focused on what you’re looking for that you overlook the thing you actually find.
October 1! I looked at the calendar with some sense of awe…in 30 days I will celebrate a birthday -my 65th birthday.
Sitting at this threshold I look at where I’ve been and where I am going.
And today, I am 27 days away. I still look at the calendar – so intently, I can’t help but wonder, is this fascination a preparation? Preparation for another milestone? Every 10 years, every five years -I’ve always loved celebrating birthdays and I know that some are much more significant than others.
Sitting in front of this threshold, I look at where I’ve been and where I am going. Counting down the days to a birthday that marks the end of something and the beginning of something.
There is a lot to think about. 65 used to be the age when one would retire. A tradition established by Congress. I Googled it!
“The original Social Security Act of 1935 set the minimum age for receiving full retirement benefits at 65. Congress cited improvements in the health of older people and increases in average life expectancy as primary reasons for increasing the normal retirement age.”
But 65 is not the magic age anymore. I won’t be considered eligible for retirement until I am 66 and six months. This makes things complicated because I retired on disability over 10 years ago. So I am eligible for some things and not for others. The details are boring and yet so important as they affect life in ways unimaginable! More about that in the days to come.
During this countdown, there is much to think about – to continue thinking about. But for today I will sit at this door’s threshold. I will take time to consider what it looks like closed and what it looks like open. I will lay options before me and practice the words offered by Julian of Norwich: believing that all will be well.
Correct with kindness and love
but also with zeal and holy freedom.
If you do not speak out,
if you do not sound the alarm
when it is needed,
you will be justly convicted
by your silence.
Today the Episcopal Church celebrates the life and work of Mary Magdalene. At least the life and work we think we know. In all these 2000+ years, her name and story have circled the Christian faith, calling for curiosity and attention. Her presence has been strengthening for some and, clearly threatening to others depending on Christianity’s perspective on women at the time.
I have always been intrigued. She must’ve had an important role in the spreading of the good news while Jesus was alive. She certainly was prominent in the discovery of his resurrection. And writings tell us that the disciples relied on her wisdom and advice.
People are drawn to understand more. Studies of ancient texts continue to reveal new and intriguing possibilities. (reference this sermon by Diana Butler Bass preached recently at the annual Wild Goose Festival. “All the Marys” – Diana Butler Bass)
As a woman with a disability and an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church, I have always seen Mary as a symbol of determination and confidence. Her voice would be heard -her witness shared. An invitation and example for those of us who know how easy it is for voices to be silenced.
I look forward to this day every year. Taking time to find new images and re-reading the gospel written in her name, the only early text attributed to a woman. The Gospel of Mary Magdalene
It is good to take time for these things but St. Mary Euphrasia stirs me to remember that speaking out is my charge, never to be accused of silence when the alarm is needed.
Quote: St. Mary Euphrasia
Painting of Mary Magdalene: Clare Elam