Friday, April 21, 2017

April 21st

I know many people look askance at birthdays and, too, at people who make a fuss over their own "special" day. It seems at once so self indulgent and irrelevant! Another one of those "me me me!" selfie moments, when in reality, the day is just a speck on the calendar of human existence. Shouldn't we be more humble about our own presence on the planet?

But here's another take on it: it is tough these days to find community. The Earth is crowded, people move from one place to the next, families break up, hunting and gathering seems so yesterday. So perhaps you could find in birthdays an excuse to get closer to people you most care about?

For me, there is another dimension: birthdays are personal. No one should care about the passing of your years. But you should care. Rather than drifting through life without thought to how the next year compares to the one before, isn't it good to be more deliberate about it?

I'm sixty-four today. I have sixty-four years of adventures, projects, mistakes, ambitions, feelings, springs, summers, falls, winters behind me. I'm beginning my sixty-fifth. To take the time to reflect, to be grateful, to look ahead -- to me, this is so cool! A birthday (for me) isn't a party day, it's a day to consider life once more. To find your personal reasons to smile. 

And if you can find a handful of loved ones to bounce around with -- well, that smile can turn into a mighty grin and you're on your way to the next year. Excited for the possibilities.


The morning dawns cool but with patches of sunshine. I used to joke that I do not recall an April 21st without at least a bit of sunshine in my day. This statement is less about my birthday of course, than about the weather patterns of the northern hemisphere where I've spent all my years: in April, clouds move through swiftly and even a rain spattered day can surprise you with moments of sunshine.

We eat breakfast in the sun room.


farmette life-30.jpg



The goal after is to take stock, to set a plan for the weekend garden work. But I linger inside. There's no hurry today. This is the luxury that every birthday deserves (yet it's the one thing that's so tough to come by) -- to have on your hands idle time.

Outside, the daffodils steal it once again. Their gold is my gold today.


farmette life-20.jpg


I dig and plant just one flower (in a vulnerable spot by the path to the house: here, the cheepers are especially prone to scratching). Tomorrow, I'll work harder.


My afternoon with Snowdrop is special, as her mommy joins us in our play. Adventuring is for the three of us (or perhaps the four of us, as my Chicago daughter calls just as we begin our stroll through the neighborhood: I feel especially rich being unexpectedly surrounded by the chatter of my three best girls!).

We visit the distant coffee shop...


farmette life-19.jpg



(Where Snowdrop explains to her mommy what's what...)


farmette life-3.jpg



And then we're off to the park. Snowdrop wont just stay with the kiddie swing these days. She now wants a turn on all possible swings.


farmette life-24.jpg



A climb up on the life guard's beach chair...


farmette life-39.jpg



And then we're off walking the neighborhood again, admiring all that's blooming right now.


farmette life-42.jpg



And still our outdoor time is not over. We tidy up Snowdrop's garden at her home...


farmette life-2.jpg



And then finally, we're indoors, where Snowdrop is extremely anxious to have me open birthday gifts. (I can help! I can do it!)


farmette life-35.jpg



If not for my text and, too, that last photo, the post would not appear that different from any other late April Ocean post. So what's the big deal?

And yet it's different. I know the date inside out. April 21st. And indeed, the evening takes on some of those celebratory overtones. A drink out with just my daughter...


farmette life-1-2.jpg



A dinner with Ed (a real selfie here, perhaps because we are doing an evening out -- a rarity for us)...


farmette life-3-2.jpg



And an evening at home, like the two couch hounds that we are -- looking for something funny and wise on TV, but really, just taking in the last bit of a birthday. Mine, sure, but this doesn't make me unique or special. We all have birthdays. You, me, everybody. Happy birthdays to all of us!

6 comments:

  1. Happy birthday dearest. Thought of you throughout the day.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well done. Thoughtful musings on your special day. Love the last photo. Sums up your enduring love for each other. xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. Happy Belated Birthday!!! Birth-days, months, years and birthday seasons are all so very important. Being able to wake up and say, "Here I am" is a big highlight for me. My birthday season begins May 1, birthday May 6 and the whole month of May is MINE and for all those born in May. Celebrate life every day in any way that you can. !!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Happy birthday! And somehow I got wondering... do you also celebrate your "nameday"? I gather many European countries (including Poland) celebrate both and I see Nina is one of the names celebrated in Poland.
    Hmm... is there a Polish equivalent of our Happy Birthday song? Time for Snowdrop to learn it if there is! (Or else a French version?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In fact, I may be the only one my age in Poland who actually does not have an official name day. It's only recently that names such as Nina have been added to a more newfangled name day list. Before, name days were linked to patron saints and there was no registered Saint Nina. So my mother was told. I was nameless for a while until she received official permission to stray from the saint listings. For Poles, a name day tends to be more popular/celebrated than a birthday. You don't have to keep track of each person's date -- it's widely known which saint falls on which day. I, of course, could not celebrate a name day. To this day, I find that whole celebration a bit odd! :)

      Delete
    2. Interesting... an "exception" had to be made for Nina :^ ) Assuming namedays were celebrated by friends at school, you must have felt a bit left out... but now you're in: December 15, from what I see online.

      Delete

I welcome comments, but I will not publish submissions that insult or demean, or that are posted anonymously. I am sorry to lose commenting Ocean friends who are not registered, but I want to encourage readers to submit remarks only if they feel they can stand behind their words. I do not seek a free-for-all here. I like camaraderie far more than conflict.