To birthdays, age and enthusiasm


A lesson learned working in the world: age. Here in the United States, our sense of age shifts and changes depending on the community around a person.

A lesson learned working in the world: age. Here in the United States, our sense of age shifts and changes depending on the community around a person. In the southwest, invitations are often sent out for the quinceanera, the official recognition of a young woman in her 15th year. Flashy, joyful and colorful celebrations ensue as a new member of the community is welcomed into the real world.

There’s the cotillion, where Southern beauties debut as ready for the adult world. There are many more. They mark milestones of survival, achievement, and moments in a lifetime. Long before these begin, there is the question of birth.

How old are you at birth? Today most of the formats adopted by the general society say that a day of childbirth is the beginning of a new life. Three hundred and sixty-five days later, a child is one year old and thinking of growing old. In Korea, a child born is already considered one year old. Then, on the first day of January following the birth of a child, that baby is now a year older. So you can be born on December 31 and turn two the next day. There are plenty of teenagers in town who would love this method of bookkeeping. In their national legislature, this issue is debated. What is the correct age of a person? Which applies for the purposes of the law? This is still debated.

It’s an age-old question: How old are we? There are those of us who are still 29, even though twice as many years have passed. Birthdays are to be celebrated. A person survived another year – another year in which fate did not conspire to interfere with life to the fullest.

Such a time is near. By a stroke of luck and birth, this big day will fall this year on May 8, Mother’s Day. Mothers – our help in times of scraped knees, crushed noses and the inevitable mending of broken hearts and joyful moments of discovery, mothers are the balm to a world that can be wicked.

Even the dinosaurs celebrated Mother’s Day. The record of their custom now feeds our industries. But that is very old history. Living history is so much clearer. We can actually see the people involved.

On this Mother’s Day, May 8, at 1 p.m., the Haystack Historical Society of Mapleton will celebrate one of its founding members who enriched community spirit and gave it a strong foundation for a bright future. Still going strong after about 33,164 days filled with interesting moments, this mom will rejoice in the accomplishments of discovery, innovation, and the sheer joy of having taken this step on the path to a life well lived. Dana Allison will be there to meet families, friends, neighbors who made these days interesting. It will be a day to forget age and simply enjoy the glory of life, well lived and always celebrating.

May 8 will be a day of celebration as we celebrate all moms and the stories they bring to us. Quite a feat.

Orpheus Allison is a county-based photojournalist who graduated from UMPI and has a master’s degree in liberal arts from the University of North Carolina. He began his career as a journalist on WAGM television, later working in many parts of the United States. After 20 years of television, he changed careers and taught in China and Korea.

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