A Birthday Bonus

GambelsQuailHeaderI’m forty-five today and I haven’t the faintest idea how that happened. I still get excited when I’m carded and it turns out that I AM actually old enough to buy a bottle of tequila. I still look about furtively, assuring myself that no parents, grandparents, or REAL adults are going to notice that I’m eating chocolate cake and pizza for breakfast. And I still believe that anything is possible, even the things that have alluded me for the last 27 years I’ve been an adult.
There are aspects of turning forty-five that aren’t easy. It’s not the smile lines or the crow’s feet that bother me. I earned those. It’s not that I can no longer climb a chain link fence or stay up all night then work in the morning. I never really wanted to do either of those things. What’s hard is having no choice but to admit, that I must, absolutely MUST, make the most of this second half of my life. Who knew? It turns out that we are blessed enough to continue on the journey, we all become middle-aged at some point.

And there is so much still to come. I now know that whatever it is I THINK I know, isn’t quite right. There is no shortage of things to learn and re-think. There is no shortage of reasons to try again, try harder, and try to do differently. There is no too late, until it’s over. And it ain’t over yet, baby!
So thank you for reading these letters and giving me a reason to write them. Writing these letters inspires me to write more, fly more, and live more. And interacting with all of you makes me feel like I have a massive extended family– a whole lot of people who are worth sharing my heart and heartbreaks with weekly. That is not something I would have imagined back in the days when I couldn’t imagine being 45.

So in honor of one more trip around the sun and a falconry season full of unfiltered adventure, I want to share this list of the things that falconry has taught me from my eBook RISE. May we all have a year filled with these simple pleasures.

The Life Lessons of Falconry
1.Life is simple, as simple as a glorious sunrise and a good hunt.
2.Honesty is the foundation of every great relationship.
3.Trust is delicate and requires constant care.
4.The living creatures we love the most do not “belong” to us.
5.The best meals are fought for and toasted.
6.Grace, style and precision are a combination often dismissed as luck. If you work hard, you will always be “lucky.”
7.Magic comes in moments of desperation. So don’t give up.
8.Anything is possible. So keep your eyes open.
9.Sometimes life requires having a little faith in something that is too high above you to see.
10.The things you discover while looking into the skies are worth the occasional stumbling. So keep looking up.

(And if you really want a treat, listen to Xe Sands, who is an amazing narrator, read these and a very short story about the amazing heart of a falconry dog.)

And if you haven’t read the essays and stories in RISE, it’s available on Amazon for free here.
Happy Ground Hog’s Day!

xxR

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