Another Birthday

by Gail Mooney
July 21 2012

Another year gone by – faster than the last. It’s a soft day, as I look out at a choppy sea and a sky that’s an ominous blue/black, keeping the crowds away from the beach.  It’s OK with me, I love this sort of weather, a welcome relief from the usual sweltering day that has defined many July 21sts over the years .  It’s the kind of day, it’s easy to get lost in thought and think about past birthdays.

I wish I could remember all of my birthdays, but there have been too many and too many years between them. There have been many memorable ones, that stand out in the recesses of my mind.  Here are a couple of them – in no particular order.

2005– I spent the day sitting on the edge of a cliff in

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, Peru with my husband and my daughter.  It was cold and rainy and yet I was so awed by the sight before me, I barely noticed the rain.  No words could ever describe the magnificence of the moment – not then or now.  It is a memory that has been indelibly burned into my mind’s eye.

1962 – Going to the  “air cooled” movie theater to cool off.  We saw Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation – a touching, funny family story with Jimmy Stewart, Maureen O’Hara, Fabion and others that somehow made an impression on me and has stayed with me all these years.

1969 – That was a big year for me.  I had just graduated from high school and turned 18 years old that summer.  They were supposed to land on the moon for the first time on my birthday, but they were a few hours early, marking July 20th as that historic day, instead of my birthday.  I was quite annoyed, but forgot all about it a few weeks later when I went to The Atlantic City Pops Festival and then Woodstock later in August.  What a summer.

2010 –  Spending the day with Ronni Kahn of OzHarvest when Erin and I were making our journey around the world.  It was one of the most wonderful birthdays I have ever spent.  Ronni was truly inspirational and made a lasting impression on me.  Whenever, I stray off my purpose, I jump back to that day in my mind and I quickly get re-centered.

2011 – Last year’s birthday and a big one in many ways.  It was one of those milestone birthdays that ends in a 0, but for me it was the day we had our first “sneak preview” of our film at the beautiful State Theatre in Traverse City, .Michigan. I will never forget the feeling when I heard the first musical notes of Alive in the World as the red velvet curtain was raised on the screen.  It was a typical hot humid day when we left the theater – in fact that day it broke 100.  We headed out to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore along Lake Michigan and when we returned to town and were walking by the theater, the usher who had helped us earlier that day said “It broke 100 today – that means that movies are free all day tomorrow”.  The end to a perfect day.

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