Do you remember your tenth birthday? Didn’t you feel special to have a two-digit number? My tenth birthday coincided with the wedding of an aunt, and I recall telling my cousins, “It’s my birthday! I’m ten!” Twenty was special, too, but each succeeding decade less glorious. Well, another birthday ending in zero is coming soon, so guess what I’m reading. Joan Chittister’s The Gift of Years: Growing Old Gracefully. The chapter titles fit: Letting Go, Ageism, Wisdom, Legacy, Memories, and so on. While never reading the last chapter first, I allowed myself the last sentence in the epilogue fittingly titled “The Twilight Time.”  It read: “Now it is finished.  Now it is only beginning.” The author sees so many possibilities and blessings in growing older, that I’m looking forward to the next zero. Her wisdom runs deep. One message running across the pages is to let go. Good advice. As Richard Rohr writes in The Naked Now, “All great spirituality is somehow about letting go.” The zero is my birthday present—a constant reminder let go, to spend a new decade emptying myself of myself.

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