Today, this trunk of a body grows another ring. Today, I turn seventy-one. Yesterday, despite the mercury rising only a couple of degrees above freezing and with a coat of snow adorning the ground, I went on a long bike ride. I did this for two reasons. First, there’s almost nothing like a bike ride to help me feel my connection with the world in an exhilarating way. And second, I wanted to make a statement to myself that I won’t yield to the clichés of aging.
When I was a much younger man, I thought that when I reached my seventies, it would be time for the rocking chair and for waiting to be harvested by the Grim Reaper. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every day, I rise to the work I love, to the people who surround me with an atmosphere of caring, to all the challenges that at any age are monumental. Is there a time I would go back to or an age I would prefer to be? Hell, yes, but it will never happen. So with a full heart, I embrace this body and this life as they are for me on the anniversary of the day I was born into this marvelous world, this astounding universe.