The Summation of my 42nd Year In a Blog

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On the Occasion Of My 43rd Birthday

Well, here it is December 2nd and I have to say this is the best birthday I have ever had.  For some reason, I feel young and alive and happy through and through.  I suppose I could say that it might have to do with working an amazing concert the other day with a great bunch of people, it might have to do with the fact that I have been able to go to Hawaii and a few other places this year.  I guess though, that it all comes down to love.  I really feel loved this year and I feel that I love others in my life.  I would like to try and pin that down further though.  Earlier, a card arrived from my sister signed by her, my niece and her husband and it filled my heart with joy.  The card was hand made, the words “happy birthday” were cut out just like you see ransom notes made in old movies, and my sister had taken the time to find little “fox” cartoons doing some of the things I like to do.  There was a fox with a huge stack of books, there was a fox in a beatnik get up reading poetry at a microphone, and cartoon pictures of popcorn on the stove (which I make at least once a night) and another one of movie cameras.  It makes me feel so special to have a sister that cares enough about me and knows enough about me to take the time to do something like that.  I also feel very grateful for my niece, who happily sang to me a Taylor Swift song she likes (after singing happy birthday), and my day had started out with birthday wishes from my departed cousin’s wife and son who live in Denmark, and soon after my ex-girlfriend Caroline and her boss called me up and sang happy birthday to me over the phone.  The day was filled with good wishes in the form of phone calls, Facebook posts, and I even had my incredible writer friend Richard Van Camp meet up with me and he gave me a very thoughtful gift, a 25 cent coin with a glow-in-the-dark dinosaur on it, stamped with the date 2013 which is the year we first started being friends.  How could anyone ask for more caring and wonderful people in their life?  I also had a dinner invitation from my Dad and Brother, but it will be put off a day or two as my Dad has a cold.

I think what is interesting also is that a good deal of my happiness today didn’t just come from the love I have received and the love I have for others, it has a lot to do with the fact that I have finally started believing in myself as a writer.  That all began two short years back when I first published my memoir, “Through The Withering Storm”.  There are things I don’t like about that book, things I would like to change, but I can’t deny that putting out a book, and also the seven other books I have now published have changed who I am dramatically.  Every time I meet someone who wants to write, I try to tell them all I can about how to succeed, what courses to take, what books and magazines to buy.  All of us have a story to tell, and with a little coaxing and a lot of effort, those stories can one day become a success.

I guess I would like to also talk about Hawaii now as well.  When I was there, one of the best things I took the time to do was to bring snorkelling gear and go swimming among the coral with all the tropical fish.  The gentle rocking of the waves, the absence of any sound but my breathing, the incredible beauty of the underwater world, and the ever-present option of being able to swim back to shore and lay in the hot sun on the beach.  It was beyond divine.  One of the amazing things about it was how I felt when I got back.  After seeing a way of doing something I wanted to do for such a long time and having such a great time doing it, it was no trouble at all facing a few days of work to earn some money and have the chance of going back again.  I don’t know if Hawaii will be my next destination, but I do know I will go some place where I can see history and swim in clear water off a beach.  And that, dear readers, is about all for today.  I am going to put a poem below, but I didn’t write it today, it is from my cache of poetry, I will try and be more original next time, but I hope you like this one anyhow.  It is below the following photo:

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MOVING FORWARD
When I look back on my life, as it spans over 40 years

I think of the strength of my parents through my setbacks and tears

One night as a young child I told them I never wanted to move away

But still that moment had to come to pass one day

Inside the love and protection of our little home

My life was joy, I was never sad, I was never alone

But the years came and went and we lost my mom

Even though on the next morning still out came the sun

It took a few years to feel better again after

She had been so special to us, she was our joy and our laughter

I now think of my Dad and all the things he has gone through

One day soon he will rejoin my mom, I know that to be true

Time will march on, one day my brother and sister too will pass

Somehow as the youngest I have hopes to be the last

When I know my time is coming and my end soon will be

I will go out into the Prairie and plant an oak tree

I want to leave something in this world to mark who we were

Five people, a dog and a cat, held together by love so pure

And then soon after I will take my last breath

And find my perfect completion having lived large until my death

I will go off to be a spirit and all those I had known will be there

Worshiping our God, loving one another without a care

Time will mean nothing, pain and sadness will be all gone

We will live like small happy children, love like them unconditionally on and on

Leif Gregersen

August 14, 2014

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