Today, some seventeen hours into my thirty-fourth year, I have had my share of firsts.

This morning, I was interviewed by the New York Times.

This afternoon, I learned to surf.

This evening, I found 100% contentment.

Three firsts, three decades in.

The Times called about iTunes. The reporter’s thesis is that artists are covering other artist’s songs in an effort to goose their iTunes business. Perhaps true, I offered. I cover songs, I said, in an effort to illuminate my influences and capabilities. That my cover of John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane” constitutes nearly 1/8 of my iTunes sales is, alas, a bonus. Fact is, John Denver was my first favorite singer. And my first concert. The rest is gravy. Still, I’ll take my name in print in the New York Times for something other than who I’m dating, or have dated.

Surfing, well, surfing was a blast. I’ve always wanted to learn. So apparently, have Chris and Jen. They made the reservations. I showed up. And got up on my first wave. Sure, our boards were twelve-footers. Still, I like to think my skateboarding adolescence was of help. “Betcha’ didn’t think about anything other than catching a wave,” our instructor, Kevin, said. Indeed.

Likewise, I’ve thought of little else all weekend. I’ve thought of waves, sun, sky, and sand. I’ve looked up at the moon, seen shooting stars, and blazing sunsets. I’ve listened to crickets, locusts, seagulls, wind and waves. I’m lucky. And I know it.

I feel my luck way down in my muscles: tired from triathlon, loose from meditation. And I see it in my skin: tan and freckled, cut and scraped. I know it from the blood — which is a good thing.

I’m alive.

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