Autumnal Life: Rites of Passage

Today marks my 50th birthday. I find myself sweeping through a wide range of thoughts and emotions on entering this phase in my life. They are all-at-once happy, daunting, introspective and liberating. I have been blessed with the great fortune and benefit of being a part of a loving family and ever-widening circle of friends – all of whom have left indelible marks along the path leading to this day. Each and every person that has come into or gone out of my life had important lessons for me that helped shape both who I am and who I aspire to be. I have been lucky enough to recognize them as guideposts along the way and I am certainly all the richer for the experiences.

Among my milestones were children raised, causes fought for, faraway lands lived in and countless relationships kindled. History unfolded before me as I watched the world through a lens that made me a people watcher, artist and writer. I lost as many battles as I won them and survived unfathomable challenges. The mosaic of my life up to now tells a story whose chapters chronicle the wanderings of a mill town boy on a collision course with a world that nurtured his insatiable quest for odyssey. Though there were times when it seemed like the odds were set squarely against me, my wake was littered with the enigmatic stares of all those who underestimated my resolve. I loved being a dark horse.

So now, as the autumn of my life begins, I find there is still so much to do, so many people to meet and so many undiscovered possibilities. Today marks the beginning of a new adventure filled with bold choices and a tenacious drive to blaze new trails. Win or lose, the destination is irrelevant – it’s all about the journey. My best chapters are yet to be written..

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