As my father so tellingly pointed out in a recent birthday card, "even hobbits come of age at 33."
This was telling in that I am now 33 years old, despite the lack of large under hill housing inheritance, it was also telling in that Chris Neild is now just as Entish as always.
"I am honoured by your confidence; but you should not be too free all at once. There are Ents and Ents, you know; or there are Ents and things that look like Ents but ain't, as you might say."
Anyway that is probably enough fantasy for this afternoon. Mum and Dad's card was one of many thoughtful messages of birthday wishes from last week, and I'm very glad to have been the recipient of so much love. Thank you all.
It seems to me that one of the reasons birthdays are significant is that they form a natural point of comparison and marker in life's journey. It can be difficult to compare who I am now, or what life is like currently to who, how and what the story was in the past. We need significant changes to signpost our journey. If you move house, or finish school, these are easy points of reference, phases that can be understood and reflected on, compared.
Without those large events, recurring annual moments provide a natural and effective opportunity to think back, and maybe also think forward. This was certainly true for me this year. My 32nd birthday in May of 2013 was a different time. I was floating around in a loose time and space after a significant life phase, and before any real direction had materialised. I spent last year's event down here in Canberra with a lovely little community and experienced some wonderful, kind support.
It was a strange time, sad and also hopeful. Quite undefined, a space of emptiness that was inevitably going to fill, it was unclear though with what.
A year later I'm still not sure what my space will be filled with, it is however no longer empty. There is plenty going on for me this year and I'm really appreciative of the love and community I've experienced from new connections and old. My 33rd birthday was a happy one, I'm confident it will be followed by a happy year.
Finally, in traditional hobbit form I gave some presents on my birthday. Two lucky hounds were recipients of two pretty large cow bones from the school bone lab I did with some students during the week. It was awesome, enjoy the photos.
Love and thanks,