Well I made it. July 17th finally arrived and I was seventy.
There’s nothing much to it really, all you’ve got to do is hang around and thanks to the inexorable march of time, the birthdays notch up. But for all that, it was a great day and people were so kind and thoughtful. I had lots of greetings, some lovely things said about me. I had birthday cakes and presents and I had a lot of monks come to see me in the afternoon. The next day I was exhausted.
In the evening we planted three trees to mark my seventieth. They are now part of the Great British Elm Experiment. One is in front of Bhavana Dhamma and the other two are in the grounds of The Forest Hermitage. They are young elm saplings from trees that have survived the scourge of the Dutch Elm Disease that wiped out millions of our beautiful elm trees fifty years ago. They are part of a hope that one day the great elms of England will rise again.
My thanks and anumodana to everyone who helped make my seventieth birthday such a special and moving occasion.