It was the last week of March; it was the 27th; the Archbishop of York was in town;
and I was at home, celebrating my birthday… in the good company of wine
and old friends, bearing beautiful gifts of fine paper
and flowers of all sorts, on stems
and on cards, each carrying messages of loving kindness and good will.
It was the loveliest of days to be honouring the process of growing and ageing. I hope the Archbishop thought so, too, even though he wasn’t at my party at all, except in the very vaguest way, via my life lived within the framework of my historical and ancestral relationship with the Church of England. (You see, I wouldn’t be here in this 21st Century New Zealand, if my church-going forebears hadn’t decided to take assisted passages, in the 19th century, to a new life in the Church of England settlement of Christchurch.)
The Archbishop of York was here to help the Anglican Church prepare for a much more senior birthday than mine; the bicentennial of the beginnings of the Christian Gospel in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
And he was here to address a symposium entitled, ‘Poverty, Global and Local’.
Which made me think that, no matter how differently we celebrate a birthday, or, how disparate our ages, to grow up and grow old is a privilege; for state and church and person alike.
and for that privilege, and every strand of grey hair on my head, I must remember to be truly grateful and of a gladsome mind, always.
This post comes with a HUGE thank you to everyone who helped celebrate my birthday. I am looking forward to kicking up my heels and having a grand time with you all again in 2015. Put the date in your diaries now. 🙂
Footnote : This is an excellent article on the art of Mabel Royds http://www.addisonembroideryatthevicarage.co.uk/2013/11/29/mabel-royds-printmaker/