Fifty … and also … One.

What Happened When I Was Asked to Visit the “Workshop of the Mind”

Molly Jacobson
4 min readFeb 28, 2022


Deep in my theater of the mind, I find myself in my terrarium, my workshop.

It’s the size of a house, with a great vaulted ceiling made with beautiful panes of glass sealed together with bright gold, half of a geodesic dome.

But the room is set deep in the earth, so while the sunshine and starshine pour in from above, unfiltered by roof or beam, the walls are stone, studded with bricks and timber, and four great trees, one in each compass point, grow up along the well of the cave I rest in, stretching their branches up toward the light, and then towards each other, so they form their own beautiful roof of lacy oak leaves.

It’s winter now, so the leaves are gone from above, and the light is clear and blue and watercolor.

The leaves lie all around me in dark piles of mulch, feeding the moss and sinking to the bottom of the pond, enriching the mud where the tadpoles will hatch, giving the carp something to snap at with their great orange mouths.

Soon the bulbs will push their way through the spongy moss, and I will see thousands of tulips, wild in their colors, standing tall and opening their petals to the light, and all the trees will start budding, even the willow that stands by my pond and drapes me with green blessings as I walk the stone bridge to my meditation seat, on a small island right in the center of my workshop, right in the center of the pond, right in the center of the bowl of my pelvis.

There is no place I am safer than sitting in this seat. It’s just a small bench with a cushion, but it is shaped for me, and I can sit here for hours and charge my body with all of the elements: the earth all around, the water all around, the air all around — and the fire that burns in me, continually, the fire of a thousand-sun heart fed by the light that pours in from the thousand suns in the sky, the thousand-sun heart that has never been diminished, even though so many have wanted to put out its flames.

Good luck with that. I am one years old this Friday, having lived the first year of the second half of my century, and that means I have survived, just like the lucky baby I was in the first half of my century.

I am one years old, so I am truly alive, no longer one foot in heaven with God and one foot here in the world. I have proven it: I’m strong enough to stay with both my feet planted on earth, charging my heart with heavenly love but moving and doing in the world.

I sit and I celebrate myself this week, as I head for the fiftieth celebration of my birth.

I have been in hell for long enough, and I have made this beautiful mind for myself.

I am here, and there is no need for me to wonder or worry if that is how it should be. All of that doubt is for the past, for the mulch, like last year’s leaves, feeding and nourishing me here, today.

It’s time for me to stand tall like my tulips, and just as bright, and open, and let the bees feed, and give joy to passersby, and make my story bright and strong.

Because the tulip will eventually bow and bend, dripping its petals to the ground as they thin and darken, lose them all until only the stamen is left, standing still and small at the end of that noble stalk looped over until it finally lays itself down on the table, ready to be mulched.

And I know that my grandmother, the French woman, was right when she instructed that you never throw away a tulip because in every stage they are beautiful, and that is how they are all as perfect as women are perfect; perfect portraits of the astonishing beauty of the female, who vibrates with strength and bursts into blossoms, and even in their last moments make you think “how beautiful.”

So this week I shall sit in my workshop and meditate on my beauty and my strength, let myself be the belle of the ball and make sure that I am celebrated in all and every way.

Because I am one years old, and I made it, and I am here to make my own life as I see fit, and that means loving life, even though there are Putins and perishings and pretenders and putzes.

And I shall take care, and make sure, and be the relaxed and precise and spontaneous woman I was born to be.

I shall be One.



Molly Jacobson

Writer and Reader Who Lives on Maui.