Every day we see beloved flowers fall,
With each passing year we watch
While hated weeds grow taller,
Still we continue to cut the cake
On each new birthday that we meet.
Celebrate enough birthdays without
Learning to let go and you'll end up
Writing somber poems just like this!
Yep, another birthday come and gone and no, I'm not feeling particularly somber. In fact, I had a rather nice birthday this year as it happened to fall on the day before Thanksgiving Day. The two occasions seemed to fuse into one with a small but very pleasant feast with friends.
This poem came up as a reminder to myself about the impermanence of things. This reminder was probably triggered by the loss of a molar tooth, the first tooth loss I've experienced since the last of my milk teeth departed many years ago. I understand that with the passing years our bodies age and losing teeth is part of the deal. Okay. But my mouth suddenly feels different and I'm not all that happy about the difference.
I'm seeing an oral surgeon next week about having a dental implant, so perhaps this time I can get back to pretty much the mouth I'm used to. But a milestone in life like this can be a good teacher if one is willing to be a good student. I always thought of that tooth as being part of me and now it's gone. How many parts of me make up "me"? As parts fall away, as they surely will, am I still me? When every part has fallen away, what remains? Who was this "me" I thought I was and who was it doing this thinking?
That lost tooth has given me quite a bit to chew on.
Today's image of a fire-hazzard cake comes from: