August 23, 2010
James Micheal Samuel was born 53 years ago today. It’s difficult birthday to celebrate. See, James does not embrace traditional celebrations. He has forgotten his own birthday more than once. Mandatory gift giving days are not his thing. He does not care for cake, the waste paper, anything unnatural or created without sacred reverence in every step of the making process.
He’s had a busy life and shows no signs of slowing. As a young man he worked on farms, loved motorbikes, cycling, and kayaking. He still does. He built his own canoe at 19. His twenty-first birthday was spent on a river bend in Canada. (He thinks.)
He has called England, New Zealand, Canada, California, Fiji, Australia, Amsterdam and France home.
He is English. Moved to New Zealand when he was one. He loves tea and crumpets, but he’s not interested in monarchies or cricket. He is an anarchist yoga master. He can walk on his hands, still. His voice is deep and clear. His accent is a unique blend and he loves to sing (ask my children they don’t much like it).
His careers have included: Carpentry (think intricate dressers and desks), computer programming, Paraglider instructor, documentary maker, game distributer, plumber, an electric bike distributor, cinema manager, web developer, social media consultant, actor (was a doctor in a Kellogg commercial once), and Facilitator – not in this order and I am sure this list is incomplete…
He has been involved with co-creating many groups like co-creators, Ooooby, Transition Towns, community gardens, and the CSA. “Community Service” is his spiritual practice.
He was married for 15 years to a woman with a physical weakness (polio when young) who made up for it with extraordinary inner strength. Since his marriage, this handsome man never remained single for long.
I saw James across a crowded room and got the chills. We both remember our eye contact and the room stopping, the cliché is a cliché because it really happens. Our first actual conversation was two years after that moment. Eighteen months past that, we had a beautiful child, James’ only.
So how do I celebrate this man’s birth? In the past, I’ve tried surprise gatherings, blessing circles, poems and skits and songs. Today, I was going to try for a picnic, and it is raining, so all can do is sit here, and introduce you to this extraordinary father, man and partner. How blessed am I to know you.
Happy Birthday James.