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.
Oh happy, happy birthday dear one! I am sad to have missed it properly, but delighted I pulled up a chair today. Thinking of you and wishing all of you the merriest of new years! Ours looks to be a lovely one, and it looks at the moment like we’re sticking around this side of the ocean for a while longer, past our original return of April 09. Can’t say I mind as we all love it, but do miss you and yours which makes my heart ache just a bit for all things Chicago.xoxox BGT
Aaack, I always have your birthday stuck in my head for the 6th, Epiphany, so among your many birthday lauds was not mine. Happy belated blessed birthday, or as we say in Greek, chronia polla, Many Years! I love birthdays. I think you’re not the only baby in the house–I get pouty if nobody bakes me a cake, which no one ever does (except my mother-in-law a few years ago). I love everyone’s birthday and I think a cake is essential, no matter if you’re one or 101, so I bake many birthday cakes. Unfortunately when you’re the baker nobody bakes for you. So the point is, I need to get over the pouts and bake my own self a birthday cake, and bless the day in its fullness and bless all those around me who love and support me so very much.I think the best way to hang on to a birthday is to let it just keep on going. Like with my boy, whose just-after-Christmas birthday ensures 2 parties at a minimum (one at grandparents’, one at home, then possibly a school observance, and the inevitable late package or card in the mail–they’re still rolling in). Just keep celebrating. Just keep celebrating life.
alas……………a day hemmed in prayer is less likely to unravel.Happy Birthday Ms. Barbara Ann. The sewingingest gal I know.
dag nab, as my grandpa might have used to say….that is SOOOOOOOO beautiful, ms emb. a day hemmed in prayer is less likely to unravel. did you make that up, you genius???? just wait till i tell eb all about the saint barbara house protection spray i got for my birthday, thanks to you and your prowling through pilsen (stay tuned those whose curiosity is now peaked….coming soon to a chair near you, the story of the amazing house spray that keeps away bad dudes.) anyway, all of the above. bless you for the wishes greek, and over-pond and prayerful too. trust me, when your bd is 1-3 you get awful used to it getting lost in the crowd. by three (as in years old), you understand that yours might be the one day of the year when no one’s in the mood for cake. thus my wacky tradition of the organic apple with the candle. i wish i could hold onto the sense that my birthday spreads over time, but i am like some old balloon, and the air pffffttttssssss out when the clock strikes 12, ushering in the fourth……i’ll work on that, though. it’s yet another resolution. my only other one is to find me a yoga class…….and now it’s late again, so i’d best toddle on to another day……
Na……..it is a saying that hangs in the bathroom at my moms house, ya know placed so when you are on the toilet you can read it and say a few prayers while you wait for the spirit to “move ” you.but it is a good little saying.
oh, that’s lovely sweetheart. brought it right down to earth. bless you for the poetry from your salle de bain. xoxoox
“Think where man’s glory most begins and endsAnd say my glory was I had such friends.” William Butler Yeats words and my sentiments. Happy Birthday, BAM! Wishing you a Blessed Year ahead with solitude interwoven with friendship.
bam–no, my sweet friend, I don’t get sad at the end of the birthday–my bestest friend of 24 years and I “invented ” Birthweek … how can one celebrate one’s spectacularness in 24 hours?? I say this just to make you laugh. Birthweek, does, however, lessen any stings or melancholy that can accompany a birthDAY.Happy Birthweek–see, I still made it..not late at all! 🙂 What a great week for a birthday….all shiny and new.