letting go of a birthday, watching the clock tick toward the end of the one day that, all these years later, still feels wrapped with a ribbon and tied with a bow, well, letting go of all of that still makes me gulp, feel a bit of a woops down in my belly.
but there’s only so much hallelujah you can pour into one 24-hour slice of the cake, only so fine a day you can absorb before thinking your insides might burst in a cloud of pure confetti.
so, as the clock undeniably inches toward 12, both hands clasped in tight prayer at the top of the dial, i know–i’m a big girl now, i’m now, yipes, in the latter half of a century–i know, it’s time to step down. time to take turns, go to the back of the line, let all the others have their huff-’n’-puff at the wobbly candles.
before it’s a wrap, though, before i turn out the lights, shuffle off to my pillow–cinderella back with the mice and the pumpkin–i do need to curl up here, and whisper what amounts to a birthday benediction.
there is much, so much, that fills me to bustin’.
bless the crescent moon, once again, that shone on my awaking, that hung there in the southern sky, that winked at me, when i went out to greet the dawn, to feed my winged friends before the black of night gave way to frozen white of day.
bless the man i married who rose from bed not long after i did, so he could make like a boy scout and figure out a way to rustle a fire from whatever sticks and bits of house he could scrounge into a meager pile out in the garage.
bless the little boy who used all his might, and all his heart, to spell the words and draw the curly-haired mama whom he proclaimed best hugger kisser, and well, that was my blue box from tiffany, all right.
bless the manchild whose eye to the core of my soul never ceases to infuse me. this time in a finely-framed photograph of two outstretched hands–mine and the little one’s, each offering the other a tiny glass heart, and, of course, the unseen promise to hold each other’s real true pulsing heart tenderly, closely through forever.
blown up big and black-and-white, it’s a picture i could hang on every wall of every room in this old house, it touches me so deeply. (you might recall the story behind the hearts, the one of the little school boy trying mightily to net the butterflies that would not let him sleep the night before he shuffled off to first grade, and then found solace in the little heart slipped into his pocket.)
and, since no day–not even a birthday–should be a day without a little drama, bless the cat who chose this day to toss his little kitty cookies all over the blue-and-white-checked couch, at the very moment the little one stormed out of the room, proclaiming boredom through his almost tears, and i was left to unload the groceries, clean the couch, roll my eyes at the dramatic little feets stomping up the stairs, all while mr. boy scout slept off his early-morning fire-starting triumphs.
bless the phone that rang and rang, carrying voices i’ve not heard in quite a while and some i hear each day.
bless the boxes that tumbled through the u.s. postal blender, and somehow landed on the very stoop for which they were intended.
bless the two fine friends who came to keep me company while i cooked the things i love for the people i so love, since not a restaurant in town cares to cook on the third day of the brand-new year. not even for my most beloved peoples.
and, of course, always essential in a litany that spills from the fact of your very existence: bless the mama and the papa, and the breath of pure true light that started me off in the first place. and, so far, have stuck with me all along this woopsy-daisy life of mine. (although one now does so from on high, where perhaps the pulling of the strings and general rooting on my behalf comes with just a tad more ease and more direct connection.)
bless the knowing, deep down in my heart, that this blessed day was really just like all the others. and that the greatest gift of all is stitching each and every hour as if it is a day i’ve waited all my life for.
which, actually, i have.
not a bad bit of wisdom to have unwrapped on this day of once-upon-a-birthing.
and now, past 12, it’s time to shuffle off to sleep. i’ve a whole new day awaiting. and i’ve got thread and needle at the ready. it’s my intent to stitch through all the year.
bless each and all of you who give me sewing lessons, every single brand-new day.
does ending your birthday day make you just a little sad? or am i the only baby in the house? i think of my wise friend sandra who celebrates all fine things in seasons, stretching out the joy and celebration. lifting a whole motherlode of days into something even grander. and, by the way, i rather liked the existential challenge of seeing if i could rise above the momentary angst of messy couch, pouting child, dozing mate who slept right through it all. i like a day that’s got its share of messiness. it made the sweetness of the song and little cakes at dinner, all the sweeter.