where do I love you from?

Today is my 49th birthday! Or, as a friend puts it, the beginning of my 50th year. I like that.

I suppose that there are numerologically significant things about this, the completion of seven cycles of seven years...but instead of investigating that, I want to write down this story I heard from my friends Michelle and Joel Levey, a story that's been keeping me company all day today: Michelle and Joel described a sweet and poignant visit to their friend M., to wish her a happy birthday. M. is elderly, and has Alzheimer's disease, and is in a full-care facility. They talked with a number of the residents, many of whom told Joel and Michelle they'd like to 'go home' now.

Their friend doesn't remember who Michelle and Joel are, but she remembers that they love each other. Michelle says, "instead of 'where do I know you from?' it's like, 'where do I love you from?'" They gave M. a card with a picture of Green Tara, a Buddhist embodiment of compassion. She didn't remember who it was, but kissed the image over and over, saying 'beautiful lady!'

Michelle and Joel talked about the importance of sincerely practicing now, while we 'still have our marbles'.

I think of it like this: when our marbles have rolled away, we'll have laid down such a deep matrix of love and willing presence, we'll be able to fall back and rest on that, our home base -- we'll already and always be 'home'.

photo source