The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

I tend to write that in birthday cards. Some think that’s weird. But I don’t look at birthdays as a mere placeholder for the passage of time, or a great excuse to eat cake and send subtly insulting cards. No. It’s a day to celebrate the fact that you came into this world. What a gift!

Most people view birth as a momentous occasion, of course, but do we all fully grasp just how momentous it is? Yes, you now have a new family member. Yes, your DNA has been passed on to the next generation. Yes, the kid is cute. Yes, you have dreams for their future. But there’s even more to it than that.

I can think of several people who have radically changed my life, mostly for the better. If they had not been born, I’d be an entirely different version of myself. Each life is like a stone that’s thrown into a universal pond. The ripple effects are infinite. Even total strangers can make a difference. They can pull you out of the path of a bus. They can pay for your Starbucks and cheer you up. They can vote a particular way, and/or they can storm the Capitol Building.

If Jonas Salk hadn’t been born, we might still be battling polio. If Malala Yousafzai hadn’t been born, girls the world over might be missing out on an education. If one of your ancestors hadn’t existed, you wouldn’t exist either. We’re all intertwined.

Today is my dear husband’s birthday. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without him in it. If he hadn’t been born, my entire world would be altered. I’d probably be walking through life sensing that something was wrong, and not being able to put my finger on it, just as I did before I met him. I’d be living a tragedy that I wouldn’t even be cognizant of. Lucky for me he was born. (Happy birthday, love!)

We are all interconnected in such subtle, yet complex ways that we all have an impact beyond our comprehension. So, yes, I’m glad you were born, dear reader, for reasons that neither of us may even know!

I’ll leave you now with this link to one of my favorite comfort songs that explains it much better than I ever could. It’s a great song. Check it out here. I defy you to not feel better about life in general after hearing it. But if you are unwilling or unable to listen to it, at least read the lyrics.

“WE ARE” (By Dr. Ysaye M. Barnwell)

For each child that’s born, a morning star rises,
And sings to the universe who we are.

We are our grandmother’s prayers.
We are our grandfather’s dreamings.
We are the breath of our ancestors.
We are the spirit of god.

We are …
Mothers of courage,
Fathers of time,
Daughters of dust,
Sons of great visions.

We are …
Sisters of mercy
Brothers of love
Lovers of life and
The builders of nations.

We are seekers of truth
Keepers of faith
Makers of peace and
The wisdom of ages.

We are our grandmother’s prayers.
We are our grandfather’s dreamings.
We are the breath of our ancestors.
We are the spirit of god.


A book about gratitude is a gift that keeps on giving!

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