3 Wishes

Today is my birthday. I woke up at 5:00 and the presents started pouring in. I walked out to take in the morning air and treat myself to a birthday gift, my tradition, an outdoor pee.

I looked across the way and a big buck was watching me. The deer didn’t budge an inch and I couldn’t stop so I was treated to a mime show before 6 a.m. After the stare down, I moseyed back inside and sat in my office chair and said my morning prayer of thanks and wished myself a happy birthday three times.

Birthday celebrations are thought to have begun with the cult of Mithras which originated in Persia but was spread by Roman soldiers. Birthday celebrations were rare during the Middle Ages but made a comeback during the Reformation period. They were seen as a good way to transfer customs from the Saint’s Days to other dates. Even today, the celebration of birthdays is not universal in the West. Some folks people prefer name day celebrations.

I’m not opposed to that.Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate either, considering them to be pagan festivals. They have a point I guess. Because they originally were along with Christmas and Easter. Many old fogies hate birthdays since it remindes them that they are getting older. Makes no sense to me. I’m glad to be here, period and I take almost any opportunity to celebrate. On my fortieth, I attempted to blow out the candle on my Ruth’s Chris complimentary cake by use of the old camp standby, the arm fart. I made a wish then as I do every birthday.
Instead of blowing out candles, I am blowing the coffee cool in my big blue mug with the tropical bird on the front and I am making three wishes today.
I wish to be the me that God and me wants me to be.
In doing so, I double dog dare me to be no one. Only when I realize that I already am no one and yet more than I will ever know will the fear of others taking advantage of me disappear. I am after alla divine birthday wish, a candle with a flame that was and is a gift itself.

What can anyone else really take from me? God has seen to it that everyone everywhere receives the gift of his own nature moment to moment to moment. What this means is that anyone who wishes to harm you has first harmed himself. And believe you, me; you can’t possibly make it any harder on this person than he has already made it on himself.
This wish may sound very strange and it doesn’t mean that I will turn my money or property, etc. over to sharks. But it does mean not to be afraid of letting everyone in the world see what you think they think is your weakness. The issue has nothing to do with others, but with our perception of ourselves. I can’t wish for more gold anymore without wishing for more golden rule to go along with it.
I wish to be thankful for all those who have touched my life and given it meaning.

My nephew, Joshua, did a tour in Iraq, dodging car bombs and then returned to the U.S. to finish college so he could teach American History. He was killed in a car wreck one evening as a passenger in a car driven by his roommate as they were returning to their apartment while my friend Matt and I were in Florida on business. His friend walked away. They held a 5k race last weekend in his hometown for a scholarship fund in his name to help other would be teachers. His memory is a good birthday present for me as well.
I wish to live in Paradise on a Cloud numbered nine.
My mother-in-law is painting me a custom Adirondack chair complete with palm trees, parrots, and beach images so I can be in Paradise even when I’m not there. Hey, wait just a doggone minute. Is it possible that Paradise is where I am in my spirit and not my location? You better betcha. I rushed downstairs to confirm it. My front entrance has a door-hanging that is an Aloha shirt, a sand bucket, and a pair of flip flops beside the words, WELCOME TO PARADISE. And when I think of bliss, I think of my old yellow dog, Snickers, who lay by that front door for many years & who taught me more than I can tell. As Milan Kundera wrote, Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace. I have known that peace. Snickers lives each time I recall it.
Yep. I already got all my wishes and it’s not even 7 o’clock. God is good like that. It’s all good even whenI think it’s bad.


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