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Giving Thanks

Tonight at sunset walking on the snowy road,

my shoes crunching on the frozen gravel, first

through the woods, then out into the open fields

past a couple of trailers and some pickup trucks, I stop

and look at the sky. Suddenly: orange, red, pink, blue,

green, purple, yellow, gray, all at once and everywhere.


I pause in this moment at the beginning of my old age

and I say a prayer of gratitude for getting to this evening

a prayer for being here, today, now, alive

in this life, in this evening, under this sky.  David Budbill


I love the dark hours of my being. My mind deepens into them. There I can find, as in old letters, the days of my life, already lived, and held like a legend, and understood. The knowing comes: I can open to another life that's wide and timeless. So I am sometimes like a tree rustling over a gravesite and making real the dream of the one it's living roots embrace: a dream once lost among sorrow and songs.  Rainer Maria Rilke


I remember all the different kinds of years.  Angry, or brokenhearted, or afraid.

I remember feeling like that walking up the mountain along the dirt path to my broken house on the Island.

And long years of waiting in Massachusetts.  The winter walking and the hot summer walking..

I finally fell in love with all of it.: dirt, night, rock and far views.

It's strange that my heart is as full now as my desire was then.   Linda Greg


Reflections on turning 70.  Of where I have been, what is a part of me...Memories kept, just for me.  Where I am going...and coming to peace with aging.  I don't think we have to like the numbers but we should live the life that is given to joy and celebration.  Some never get the chance to be older, some never get a chance to forgive the past and celebrate the future. Enjoy the great memories and finally live in the moment every thanks for this life of mine...I know it's value and I'm full of gratitude for those who have joined me on this journey now and those that were with me in the past...I sure hope the 70's are going to rock and roll...gotta keep on moving...


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Reader Comments (13)

Wish I could give you a big birthday hug Cheryl and tell you in person just how glad I am that you are on this earth and that our paths have crossed. I celebrate with you from afar though. Your friendship has meant the world to me for some time now but in darker times like now, it means even more. When I am pushed down by a wave of despair I think of you and the boys and your family and am buoyed up by the feeling that good will ultimately prevail. You show me how to keep on keeping on and seeing the beauty around me. And that great smile, and your beautiful heartfelt writing and amazing photography that give me so much joy! On this birthday, I want to share with you a poem by a new friend of mine -- it's one I think you will relate to…Happy birthday, sweet one!
On Being Seventy
Is there life still,
some holy aliveness
yet to be born
within the midst of misplaced keys
and names hidden beyond the horizon
of fickle memory?

Are there things to do still,
not some list of bucket pleasures
but fertile seeds
sprouting in our troubled hearts
while we gulp aspirins
and duly exercise to stay fit?

Do we have dreams
worthwhile for tomorrow,
seeking light of day
even as we toss fitfully
frustrated with the clock
that blinks one lost minute after another?

Yes, let us be artists still
giddily in love with all creation,
souls ready to paint with light,
for this will keep us wise,
dancing with one another
in sacred step, until our good night.

Sue Evans

January 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSherry G.

February 1, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBeate

Let me start by saying I would never have thought you were turning 70! Cheryl you look fantastic. Secondly sending you wishes for the happiest birthday!

February 1, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLiz Thomas

Dear Sherry, your comment blew me away...thank you sounds so shallow for all those big hugs and kind words. Funny how that happens...I started following you because your work really spoke to you...and then one message across the wires and we both knew that we were kindred spirits...and if times passes as we live our lives, it's all o.k....because the connection comes again. There is so much that is unpleasant about social media but then I think of you, your work and your words and know that there is also so much good. I'm so gratiful for the friends, real friends that I have found here...
That poem, that person...amazing. I did look her up and she is deffinately a person to follow. She writes. Theres reason enough right there. Of course that poem is a keeper.
I thought a lot about writing this post...did I really want to put it out there that I was this old...and honestly, part of me didn't want to. Then I thought if I put tt to paper I would be sending it out into the world and it would be true...and what would I do then. I know now, that what I will do, is what i always have done. Live each day to the fullest, even more so now. I think I need to add a few more locations to travel to also...I'm coming for my hug.

February 1, 2017 | Registered CommenterCheryl Crotty

Thank you so much has been a joy getting to know you over these past few months...what trouble we would get into if we lived near each other...Have a great month and watch the mail...

February 1, 2017 | Registered CommenterCheryl Crotty

Dearest Cheryl,
Hope you had a better time going from 69 to 70 than I!
But I'm settling in!
And, surprisingly, I really don't feel older . . . even went to the Y today for the first time.
You're not old, girl . . . you never will be . . .
it's only a number!
You've got a book to write!
I couldn't come close to writing such heartfelt messages as above,
so will just piggyback on the sentiments.
Much love, and Happy Belated Birthday by one day!

February 1, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAntoinette

oh, PS . . . did you really get THAT much snow?
We had about 4" of powder . . .
LOVE this beautiful capture of you . . . young lady!

February 1, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAntoinette

Happy Birthday, Cheryl! I turned 70 in December, and I am not so much in denial as disbelief. That number just seems so "old," but I don't feel old. I just feel But the sense of time rushing by has become acute! I love the poem by David Budbill, and the one by Sue Evans that Sherry shared in her comment. That is just how I feel, put into words I'm unable to find for myself. I wish you health, happiness, and continued abundance and joy in your journey!

February 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLeón

Happy Birthday Cheryl, I hope I look as good as you at 70 but I doubt it....I already feel old at 50. Hope you feel as wonderful as you look. Can't believe all the snow!! Wow! I have totally unplugged from online but had a heart sister feeling I should show up here. Best wishes and may you live to be a 100. XO

February 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterH.S

And be sure to keep that little red car warmed up, taking it out for a regular spin! That helps keep one young too. Such a lovely post about turning 70! I'm right behind you, and I'm already grateful I'm on my way. I'm actually looking forward to my 70's for some odd reason. Happy Birthday!!

February 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBeverly

Yes, enjoy those memories and I have absolutely no doubt that you are going to rock your 70s! I think you have only just begun.
Happy Birthday, my friend! xoxo

February 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

You have such a wonderful attitude and outlook, Cheryl.
Truly, you are an inspiration.
Wishing you a very, very Happy Birthday, my friend!

February 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Gordon

Hi Cheryl!
I am a little late to your party, but I hope you had a wonderful birthday! The quotes are wonderful and so is your outlook. I will be turning 50 next year and having some of the same thoughts bounce around my mind as you are having at your 70th birthday. We do have a lot to be thankful for and remembering to be grateful makes for a happy life. :) I am hoping we get some snow in my neck of the woods tonight. Enjoy your day!

February 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle B

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