Today is my birthday.
For many years I have answered the phone on this day with “happy birthday to me”. My family and friends seem to enjoy this annual moment. However, not having caller ID on the home phone, I’ve no idea who is calling. I like to not know, and be surprised instead. But imagine the surprise some callers have when they call this day for reasons other than my birthday. Just now the Walgreen’s pharmacist was taken aback, but immediately offered her birthday wishes to me. And then notified me the shingles vaccine was in and I could come in for a birthday shot!
I awoke this morning to the sound of an owl in the woods just beyond the bedroom windows. Owls have been scarce this year and I’ve missed their sound through the nights. So it was pretty special to be awakened this day by an owl.
I lay in bed listening to the hooting, and then to more sounds outside as the natural community just beyond my windows began to awaken. Such a lovely way to begin the day.
Lying there, I considered how I want to live my 78th year. What ways do I want to walk through the next 365 (God willing) days of my life. So as the owl hooted good morning I made a first decision for the coming year – to be intentional in listening. In Mary Chapin Carpenter’s song Jericho, she sings: “You can’t hear me yet, listening takes a long, long time…”.
I journeyed out to the deck to sit and listen.
The owl had moved on with daylight, but a Google search about owls informed me that one symbolic meaning is that the presence of the owl announces change. I’m pretty adverse to change, but this 78th year may be a time I embrace “some” change, beginning with intentional listening, then hearing.
Speaking of Google, today’s Doodle features Lyudmilla Vladimorovna Rudenko. Born on July 27, 1904, she was a Soviet chess player and the second women’s world chess champion, from 1950 until 1953. She was awarded the FIDE titles of International Master and Woman International Master in 1950, and Woman Grandmaster in 1976.
This is good to know. A woman of my parents’ generation who had excelled at both the men’s and women’s game of chess, remembered this day.
What happened next was gastronomic joy. Donuts! Not just any donuts, rather artisan donuts. The Farmhouse opened recently and a dear friend and I figured Starbucks and donuts would be the perfect way to enjoy a birthday breakfast.
I am touched deeply by gifts I received this day. I think more touched than any other birthday I can recall. Each reflects intention, true intention. To celebrate me, to honor me, to walk with me.
An old adage says, “the sky is the limit”. I feel this 78th year of my life holds that promise.
Birthday Blessings for me.