All four of us have now celebrated three birthdays each here on Rum. Ady was first – 48, 49, 50, then Davies – 12, 13, 14, Scarlett 10, 11, 12 and finally me 39, 40 and yesterday 41.
Age is so relative – to Davies and Scarlett 41 is a whole lifetime three times over, to my parents it’s barely half a lifetime. Of course when you look in the mirror or at a photograph of yourself you just see the signs of age – the lines around your eyes and mouth, the first few strands of grey hair announcing themselves.
I’m viewing those lines as echoes of all the laughter and smiling I have done over the course of the last 41 years, those grey hairs and tiny memories of the things which at some point have caused me worry, long since forgotten and lived through.
The first week of January is pretty full on for most people, you do a whole lot of taking stock of your life as the year turns but with a birthday in the same week this is magnified and yesterday during a moment alone chopping firewood my mind wandered and surrounded by the amazing views I live with but never take forgranted I counted my blessings:
My health; my wonderful 22 year relationship with Ady which has never faltered and must surely have proved those naysayers who said would never last wrong; my fantastic, amazing, fabulous children who every day find a new way to astound and delight me; our croft – 8 acres of land on one of the most beautiful parts of the country, somewhere people flock to visit and photograph every year but we get to call home, to live alongside these landscapes, this wildlife and this beauty; my family – my supportive, loving parents, grandmother, my brother and his family, my brother in law and his family; my friends – friends who live here and I see every day, friends I stay in touch with online, scattered all around the UK (and further afield) but never far from my thoughts.
My birthday yesterday perfectly summed up my life – I was overwhelmed with texts, phonecalls, emails, facebook messages from family and friends, Ady and the children gave me fab presents and we spent the evening down in the village where every single person currently on the island came and had a drink (or several!) with us. There was fizz, singing, music playing, birthday cake and candles and a stack of presents, mostly home made and all thoughtful and touching.