Once upon a very long time ago, a man and a woman sat on a swing set near midnight in far northeastern Maine, watching the Perseid meteors overhead and planning their future adventures. The immediate adventure was a backpacking trip across Europe a year from then, but, that night, the adventure grew larger, more serious, and more wonderful when they decided, yes, let’s get married while we’re at it.
200-odd years even longer ago, in 1761, under those same dancing stars, the nascent town of Thetford, Vermont, was born when King George III signed the royal charter that provided its name and its boundaries.
Fast-forward to another birth, on another August 12. It’s that dim in-between timenot quite night, but still a couple hours from dawnwhen no one in their right mind is moving, no one and nothing but the shooting stars, and our new little girl.
On this August 12, our little girl is twelve years old.
She knows a lot of things, this twelve-year-old, including things I would never have known without her. Here’s one: today is her Golden Birthday (the birthday when your age matches your birth date). I wish I’d known about Golden Birthdays when I was eight.
So, tonight we’ll celebrate a Golden Birthday, and our town’s birthday, and the anniversary of that night on the swing set, and we’ll hope for clear starry skies, and a meteor or two on which we can hang our wshes for many more happy August 12ths to come.