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If my spiritual tribe was the X-Men, Phyllis Tickle would be our Professor X. Phyllis turns 80 today, and here are some of the impossible things she’s done for me: 1). She convinced me that historical cycles were scientifically worth paying attention to. 2). She showed me that fixed-hour prayer can be a wonderful and life-giving spiritual practice. 3). She made me look forward to getting white hair, because it will make me look a little more like her. Happy birthday, Phyllis! We think you’re neat.