Friday, November 14, 2008

The View

One friend wrote that when she told her teenage daughter it was my 40th birthday yesterday, the daughter (whom I also consider a friend) said, "Oh, now she's on top of the hill."

I like the view from up here, I must say. I can look back on 40 amazing years behind me, years filled with people, places, events and opportunities I could never have dreamed up.


I've walked on the Great Wall,
and dived the Barrier Reef.
I've hiked the Knysna forest
and I've soared over the Serengeti plains.

I've sat around fires in the Bushveld,
and in the Maasai Mara,
hung on for dear life on jeepneys in Manilla,
and in matatus in Nairobi.

I've dodged potholes in the Rift Valley,
and gotten lost in Taiwan.
I've explored the back streets of Manhattan,
and have known the freeways of LA.

I've stood on Table Mountain,
on the rim of the Grand Canyon,
on the Twin Towers and the Statue of Liberty.
I've stood under the Eiffel Tower and on the Sydney Harbor Bridge.

I've sat in tukuls in Sudan,
and ghops in Rendille land.
I've heard the people's stories
and carried them in my heart.

I've sat with people in abject poverty,
had tea with Presidents,
sung in some of the most beautiful concert halls in the world,
listened to African children sing their hearts out.

I've swum with dolphins off the coast of Kenya,
and watched turtles lay eggs by my door on Sipidan.
I've watched bat-eared foxes care for their young,
and lionesses teach their cubs to hunt.

I've survived a massive earthquake,
and been through many typhoons and floods.
I was spared from being on a plane that crashed.

I've watched people die,
and seen a baby being born.
I've seen the dying LIVE,
and those who think they live, slip away.

I've been in debt and come out the other side.
I've cried hard, and have laughed harder.
I've been afforded much grace.
I have known and been known.

I've taken pictures in the rice paddies in Taiwan,
and in the deserts in Namibia, Kenya, the USA.
I've had my camera confiscated,
and my voice silenced.

I've chosen to speak

I've been tempted.
I've succumbed.
I've resisted.
I've been thankful.

I have failed,
I have hurt.
I have succeeded,
and rejoiced.

I have lived.
I've been loved,
and I have loved.
I've had want for nothing.

I've been blessed beyond belief.


And this is just the beginning... I cannot wait to see what the next 40 years hold! And I'm not just saying that. I cannot wait to see where God is leading me next, what He'll be doing, and where I get to join in!


  1. I loved your 40 year old tribute from the "top of the hill". I think it must may inspire me to reflect back on some of my own favorite moments. I'll be 50 on my next birthday, and it always seemed so far away. Somehow it snuck up on me:)


  2. What an incredible journey and an incredible view. I so appreciated your reflection. And am inspired to keep pursuing life with passion, to make each day count, and let none be 'dull'. Thank you.