Though the passage is oft cited, Tolkien’s famous poem does bear a memorable phrase, which strikes me as the final moments of this morning strike the sun’s highest point in the sky, and coalesce into the beginning of the afternoon. It goes:
“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”
It is the second line, “Not all those who wander are lost,” that always strikes me. It speaks of the lovingly hopeless little bits of flotsam and jetsam we all are, as we drift through the cosmos in search of our own personal truths, and adventures that await us along the way. Perhaps some of us choose to be lost; to be wanderers, for this very reason. It is a longing, of sorts, and of the utmost pleasant variety.
I am also reminded of that most esoteric chapter from Kenneth Grahame’s, “The Wind in the Willows”, titled “Piper at the Gates of Dawn”, in which the tiny protagonists meet the ancient nature god of yore, Pan, in the forest. The curious reception in that chapter is most esoteric, and I still get chills every time I recall Christopher Robin Milne’s recollections of how his mother would read it to him at night, saying that, ” ‘The Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ was her favourite, [which she] read to me again and again with always, towards the end, the catch in the voice and the long pause to find her handkerchief and blow her nose.”
There is something about the esoteric, inner-self within us all, that comes out at such moments. Our birthday celebrations present such a moment; reflections of our visage across the surface of the pond, or, perhaps, the glistening stones in the moonlight that mark our way home along the path of life.
Hence, to commemorate each one, I like to capture a portrait of myself that marks the occasion; the image accompanying this post presents my present visage, on this day commemorating my first 33 years on Earth (the complete, un-cropped version appears at the end of this post).
To conclude, earlier this morning my friend Luke, the one and only “Avid Dabbler” (one of my Aussie blokes, with whom I’ve shared interesting birthday greetings in the past as well) pointed out to me that upon reaching one’s 33rd year on our terrestrial island of Earth, one has aged to “The Masonic Year”.
Regardless, some would consider it a rather synchro-mystical number, and since, in likelihood, I won’t see three HUNDRED and thirty-three (at least in this present regeneration), my hopes are that this year will be one rife with discovery, and advancement, as well as one that bears fruit in my continuing efforts toward aiding others in all parts of the world. Wandering, but not lost… merely seeking.
Thank you to all those who have been, or are yet to be, my companions in space-time to join me along the way. It is an adventure we all share… let it continue!