In Chinese astrology I am a Water Dragon.
This is the Year of the Water Dragon – and the colour associated with the element of water is black. So, in honour of this auspicious synchronicity – and to bring good fortune to myself and my readers over the coming year – I have added the image of a black oriental dragon to my WordPress profile card.
I am not simply a luck-bringing Water Dragon, I’m also a Leo. Six months today, all being well, I’ll celebrate my sixtieth birthday. Sixty! I certainly don’t feel as ancient as that sounds – but not the same as when I was a young wife and mother either. I was headstrong and opinionated in those days, judgemental and harshly critical, particularly of the older generation. I’d like to think I’ve mellowed, that experience has smoothed my sharp edges; deepened my compassion, loosened my need to control.
I’ve reached the point where my appearance no longer dictates the way I feel about myself. In defiance of the Western World’s youth-obsessed culture, I’m happy with my cuddly curves, my fading mane, the lines and wrinkles that add character to my face. (The Artist regularly declares that I still look twenty-seven, bless him. I’d book him into Specsavers but I don’t want to shatter his delusion!) Hand-on-heart, I’m more content now than I’ve ever been – happy to have lived a full life, harbouring no regrets. Some chapters didn’t go strictly to plan but even those turned out for the better.
Anyway, I’d better get to the point, before I start sobbing into my mug of Redbush Tea and hiccupping ‘My Way’. I’d like to mark this significant milestone. Of course I won’t qualify for a state pension until I’m sixty-one and five months – Christmas Day 2013 – but that’s too confusing and I’m not prepared to wait that long. I feel compelled to do something to mark my passage into respected elder-hood. But what?
I’m not going to bungee jump, (not after the recent near-disaster, when a rope snapped,) or travel in a hot air ballon, (I remember what happened to Richard Branson,) or skydive with the Red Devils, (my daughter has beat me to it – she’s leaping out of an aeroplane, strapped to one, on May 25th.) I’ve already screamed my way around ‘The Big One’ fairground ride in Blackpool, and been given a flying lesson, (thanks babe!) And I can ride on the back of a Harley Davidson any day.
I do have one idea up my sleeve but that’s entirely personal and my Dragon/Leo personality demands a bit more pizazz. But I can’t think of anything I’d like to do, anywhere I’d rather be than here, in our Island Paradise.
I ‘want’ for nothing – I’m extraordinarily lucky, I know.
But then I am a Water Dragon.